Sermon by Rev. Daniel L. Sonnenberg | August, 7, 2011
Therefore, gird 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)
People going thru persecution are asking two questions:
- Relationship to God – Has God forgotten me? What have I done to deserve this? Why am I going thru this? How will this end? Is my faith worth going thru this pain?
- Relationship to Community – Am I the only one going through this? Should I go back to my old friends and lifestyle so that the persecution will stop?
People going through persecution tempted to do two things:
- Give up on their faith so they will no longer be persecuted
- Go back to their old lifestyle to ease the tension bt them and their persecutors
People going thru persecution for their faith need two things:
- Assurance that the end result is worth the cost
- Assurance they are not alone in their pain
The first few sections tell us who we are in Christ:
- Travelers in a land not our own
- We have received a new birth, a secure inheritance, and safe travel to that inheritance
- God allows obstacles on the journey to prove our faith is genuine
- Assurance that our suffering will lead to glory
Purpose of letter in 5.12 to encourage them to stand firm in the true grace of God.
Today’s passage begins with THEREFORE, marking it as a turning point in the argument
- Now see Peter’s method to encourage them – alternating pattern of indicative and imperative statements.
- Indicative – what God has done, is doing and will do for them in X
- Imperative – what they should do in response to maintain their new faith and sense of community in persecution.
- Unlike regeneration and glorification, sanctification and perseverance are works of God in salvation in which we are totally dependent on God yet, we must cooperate by means of our will.
Since the mind is the seat of our will, let’s take a look at what this passage says about our thoughts…
This passage tells us that since you have such a great salvation, you should collect your thoughts, control your thoughts, choose your thoughts, and choose “certain” thoughts about this grace to be brought to you.
More about THEREFORE, indicatives, imperatives
- Bryan Chapell: “The imperatives [in the Bible] are based on the indicatives and the order is not reversible” (Pres Cov Seminary, St Louis)
- Another way to say: “What you do is based on who you are and the order is not reversible.”
- 2:12-13 …work out your salvation with fear and trembling – for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
- Eph 4.32. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other – just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
- Family example –
- Even the 10 commandments (10 imperatives) are based on an indicative:
- when God gave the Israelites the 10 Commandments, he did not say,
- “Obey them or you’re dead!”
- Instead, he prefaced the commandments (imperatives) with an indicative,
- “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery” (Ex 20:2).
- God did not say, “Obey the 10 commandments, and then I will deliver you from slavery in Egypt.”
- God said, “I delivered you from slavery (the indicative), THEREFORE, obey the 10 commandments (the imperative).”
Our verse today is no different. It begins with imperatives and ends with an indicative.
Collect Your Thoughts – “gird up the loins of your mind”
- Near eastern metaphor – tuck your robe into your belt
- Means readiness, preparation for journey, race, battle, service
- Also Israel were told to gird up their loins in prep for exodus on the night of Passover in prep for their journey to Mt Sinai
- Peter applying to the mind – a parallel passage:
- 6:11,14 Put on the full armor of God…Stand firm… HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH…
- Other passages that point out the importance of mind
- Mark 12:30 And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength”
- 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.
- 1 Corinthians 2:16 …we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.
- First we must gather up our thoughts to prepare for what’s ahead
Control Your Thoughts – “be sober”
- In contrast to drunkenness –
- Self-control, not out of control
- Awake, not sleeping off a bender: 1Th 5:6 so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.
- Of the day, not of the night. 1Th 5:8 But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.
- Working, not laying out of work. 2Ti 4:5 But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
- Clear-minded, not in a stupor. 1Pe 4:7 The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer.
- Watching out for the enemy, not sleeping through an attack: 1Pe 5:8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
Choose Your Thoughts “hope completely” (imperative)
Hope is a CHOICE – must be practiced every day – it requires the exercise of our will and cooperation
- Lamentations 3:21 This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope.
- Joshua 1:8 Study this Book of the law continually. Meditate on it day and night
- Psa 71:14 But as for me, I will ahope continually,
- Philippians 4:8 whatever things are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, or praiseworthy– think on these things.
- Tit 2:13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of 1bour great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.
- Athletic and musical illustrations – focus your practice -develop skill
- Larry Byrd: the more I practice the luckier I get
- Phil Driscoll: I practiced my scales.
Choose CERTAIN Thoughts – “the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
- Not like modern usage, “I hope it will rain today,” or “I hope he gives me a ring,” or “I hope I don’t have to go to school tomorrow” – an uncertainty
- Hope in our future salvation when Christ comes again is as certain as
- Our past and present salvation based on Christ’s death, resurrection and ascension…
- Act 24:15 having a hope in God… that there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.
2Co 1:10 who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us,
- 1Th 2:19 For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming?
- Spiritual – re-read, memorize indicatives (what God has done, is doing, will do) e.g., Eph 1; Rom 8; 1 Peter 1; 1 Cor 15; Col 1; Heb 1; etc. -spiritual growth
- Athletic – accept the assist; take high percentage shots -score points
Click here for the series of twenty-three sermons on the entire book of 1 Peter.