“As Obedient Children” – 1 Peter 1:13-16
Introduction: The first word of verse 13 is important. It says “wherefore,” and like the word “therefore,” as many have said before, it’s important to know what it is “there for.” The previous verses were dealing with the benefits of being a Christian – these verses show the duty, or responsibility, we have in living like a Christian.
I know that much of my preaching has to do with living a consecrated Christian life – the reason it does is because that’s what a lot of the Bible is about. God gave His Word to us so we can know what He wants from us.
The believers to whom this letter was written to were about to enter a period of serious personal trial and they were going to need to keep their testimony. It’s very easy to stray when things get so bad that we just can’t stand it anymore – it’s then that we need these verses. It’s then that we need to know we still have a duty to stay right. That sounds harsh but it is the truth of the Word of God.
There are several things mentioned here that are simple truths that help us to be that obedient Christian, that holy believer:
I. Be prepared “Gird up the loins of your mind”
A. The phrase “gird up the loins” is a very culturally, time specific phrase
“The allusion here is to the manner in which the Orientals were accustomed to dress. They wear loose, flowing robes, so that, when they wish to run, or to fight, or to apply themselves to any business, they are obliged to bind their garments close around them. The meaning here is, that they were to have their minds in constant preparation to discharge the duties, or to endure the trials of life - like those who were prepared for labor, for a race, or for a conflict.” (Barnes)
B. “Of your mind” is pointing to the importance of having our mind prepared for whatever may come our way
Exo 12:11-12 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. 12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD.
Luk 17:8 And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink?
Eph 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
II. Be in control “Be Sober”
A. To be “sober” is to maintain self-control
B. As it relates to alcohol, the idea is that one who is sober is not one who drinks and is sober as opposed to being drunk but it relates to someone who has enough self-control and maintains his whole being to abstain from it in the first place
1Pe 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
1Pe 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
Rom 13:13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
1Th 5:6-7 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. 7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
C. As it relates to the context here it is showing, along with the first point, that these believers were going to need all they had to endure what was coming
III. Be expecting “Hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ”
A. “Hope” as defined in the Bible is a guaranteed expectation of something that hasn’t happened yet
B. The reference here is to the end of their trial that may end in death – they were to maintain hope of an eternity with Christ during this trial
C. We all need to maintain the “hope to the end” – to the end of our life, not just the end of the trial we’re facing
Heb 6:17-19 Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: 18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: 19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;
1Jn 3:1-3 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2 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. 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
IV. Be obedient “As obedient children”
A. This is defined as “children marked by obedience” – their testimony is they are obedient
B. This is seen in the law of opposites in the Bible in a couple different verses
Eph 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Eph 5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
V. Be separated “Not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance”
A. “Not fashioning” – means to conform to the same pattern outwardly – used of tracing something on a piece of paper
B. The application is that we, as believers, are not to be patterned after the world around us but patterned after Christ – we are to be separated
C. This same word is used in Romans 12:2 where it is translated “not conformed” – as one author defined it there: “Stop being molded by the external and fleeting fashions of this age, but undergo a deep inner change” – Zodhiates
D. Here Peter is telling the believers not to go back to the world that they ignorantly lived in before – don’t be led astray by the “former lusts” they had before they were saved – stay true to the cause of Christ no matter what comes our way
1Pe 4:2-3 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. 3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:
Eph 4:18-22 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: 19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20 But ye have not so learned Christ; 21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
Col 3:5-7 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6 For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.
VI. Be holy – vs. 15-16
Not much needs to be said about this – the whole of the passage is summed up in these two verses.
Conclusion: How are you during times of deep despair or severe trials? Have you maintained your testimony? That’s what Peter, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit is telling the believers here to make sure they do.