Morning Bible Study
From Rome, the apostle Peter writes this letter to the Jew and Gentile
believers that are living throughout the province known as Asia Minor, or,
It is AD 64. Caesar Nero is
beginning to unleash his persecution of Christian back in Rome, where Peter is.
The believers in Rome faced torture, being burned alive, and death by
animals in the Coliseum.
The main themes that we will see woven through this tapestry of difficulty
Submission – an unusual response to suffering, learning to “yield” to God
rather than “fight” the problem.
Relational Evangelism – the way we go through our difficulties and yet
still cling to God can be a light to those who are going through dark times of
Peter has been laying out two contrasting things:
1. We have a future in heaven for eternity with God.
2. Currently we are going to go through difficult times.
So how are we to live between these two worlds?
1:13-16 Living between two worlds
(apologies to first service – Caleb went over some of this last week, but
second service ended at vs. 12, so I’ve decided we’d look a little closer at
:13 Therefore gird up the
loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace
that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
gird up – anazonnumi (“again” + “gird up”) – to gird up;
metaph. be prepared; a metaphor derived from the practice of the Orientals, who
in order to be unimpeded in their movements were accustomed, when starting a
journey or engaging in any work, to bind their long flowing garments closely
around their bodies and fastened them with a leather belt.
aorist middle participle
loins – osphus – the hip (loin); to gird, gird about,
the loins; a loin, the (two) loins; the place where the Hebrews thought the
generative power (semen) resided
mind – dianoia – the mind
as a faculty of understanding, feeling, desiring; understanding; mind, i.e.
spirit, way of thinking and feeling; thoughts, either good or bad
be sober – nepho – to be sober, to be calm and collected
in spirit; to be temperate, dispassionate, circumspect
present active participle
fully – teleios – perfectly, completely
rest your hope – elpizo – to hope
aorist active imperative
brought – phero – to carry; to
present passive participle
:13 gird up the loins of your
The concept of “girding the
loins” isn’t one we understand in modern society. That’s because we dress differently than
people did in Peter’s day.
I googled “loins” and got a
picture of a lion.
Here, the concept isn’t about
being physically ready for action, but being mentally ready for action – to
gird up the loins “of your mind”.
:13 be sober
We often usually connect this
word to alcohol. To be “sober” means you
haven’t had a drink. But the word also
carries the idea of being “calm”, self-controlled, not influenced by your
emotions, and alert.
Both “gird” and “sober” are
participles, meaning that these are descriptions of the state we need to be in
when we try to do the thing that Peter will command us in the next phrase.
Those who are going through
suffering and trials need to pay attention to their mental health.
Sometimes we can slip into a
funk and feel like we can’t do anything.
But somehow we need to “gird our loins” and get ready for action
– like getting ready for the big boss to arrive…
Video: The Devil Wears Prada – Gird Your Loins
We all have
the ability to get up and move when we feel something is really
getting up off your couch of despair and going for a walk can help get your
mind ready to move.
I think one of the chief
qualities of “sobriety” is having a clear head.
The world looks
different when you’re sober than it does when you’re intoxicated.
Our minds can wander into all
sorts of things that produce a sort of “intoxication” that only muddies things
It might be an
addiction like alcohol, drugs, or sex.
Some of us
struggle with allowing our “emotions” to cloud our judgment.
If I’m down,
tired, sad, angry, or jealous, I might find that I let those emotions color the
way I look at the world.
like happiness can color my perception of the world.
Sometimes it takes a good friend
or a counselor to help us realize how out of focus our perspective is, that we
might not be looking at the world very clearly.
:13 rest your hope
fully upon the grace…
Of the phrases in this verse,
this alone is the command, the “imperative”.
It’s in the context of our having “sobriety” and being “ready” that we
are to “rest our hope”.
What are you counting on?
Our hope is to be completely on
one thing – the coming of Jesus Christ and the grace we will receive when He
We make a mistake when our hope
is in our difficult time is going to disappear.
That’s not to say we don’t pray
and do what we can to end our trial.
That’s not to say we can’t have
faith for our deliverance.
But what if you have all the
faith in the world, and the trouble doesn’t end?
The prophet Daniel had three
amazing friends named Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego.
They lived under a crazy
tyrannical despot named Nebuchadnezzar.
Nebuchadnezzar had a huge ego
and wanted everyone to worship him as a god.
So Nebuchadnezzar made a huge golden statue
ninety feet high. He had all the people gathered together and commanded everyone to bow down to his
statue or else face being thrown into a “fiery furnace”.
else was bowing to the ground, three men were left standing alone.
Shadrach, Meschach, and Abed-nego were
brought before the king, who threatened to throw them into his fiery furnace.
NLT) —16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do
not need to defend ourselves before you. 17 If we are
thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is
able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. 18 But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you,
Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you
have set up.”
responded by throwing them into the furnace.
Video: The Bible – The Fiery Furnace
there was one “like the Son of God” in the fire with them.
The Bible says
that the only thing that was burned in the furnace was the ropes that they were
tied up with.
So here’s the deal – just what are you
What is your “hope” resting in
there is one thing we can count on – that day we will be with Jesus in heaven.
What can the
world do to discourage people who believe that?
:14 as obedient children,
not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance;
children – teknon – offspring, children
obedient – hupakoe – obedience, compliance, submission;
obedience rendered to anyone’s counsels, an obedience shown in observing the
requirements of Christianity
not conforming – suschematizo – to
conform one’s self (i.e. one’s mind and character) to another’s pattern,
(fashion one’s self according to); to shape one thing like another and
describes what is transitory, changeable, and unstable
present passive participle
(Romans 12:2 NKJV) 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.
former – proteron –
before, prior; of time, former
ignorance – agnoia – lack of knowledge, ignorance; esp. of
divine things; of moral blindness
lusts – epithumia – desire, craving, longing, desire for
what is forbidden, lust
:14 as obedient children
When we opened our heart to
Jesus, we became “born again”, and now God is our father. We are His children.
:14 not conforming
yourselves to the former lusts
not conforming – συσχηματίζω suschematizo – to conform one’s self to another’s
pattern; to shape one thing like another
Like pushing clay into a mold.
Paul uses the same word when he writes,
(Romans 12:2 NKJV) And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the
renewing of your mind…
Even after being “born again”,
we still have those old lusts hanging around.
We need to be careful not to let the world or our lusts push us into
:15 but as He who called
you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,
:16 because it is
written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”
holy – hagios – most holy thing, a saint
conduct – anastrophe –
manner of life, conduct, behavior, deportment
be – ginomai – to become, begin to be
aorist passive imperative
:16 Be holy, for I
Peter is quoting the book of
The phrase “be holy” is found in
20 verses in the tiny book of Leviticus.
It’s used in all sorts of situations, including:
Those who participate in
worship. (Lev. 6:18)
NKJV) …Everyone who touches them must be holy.’ ”
What you eat and don’t eat
(clean and unclean).
11:44 NKJV) For I am the Lord your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and
you shall be holy; for I am holy. Neither shall you defile
yourselves with any creeping thing that creeps on the earth.
How you treat other people (Lev.
All sorts of moral laws such as
honoring parents, not worshipping idols, leaving something in your field for
the poor to harvest, not stealing, paying your workers, telling the truth,
loving your neighbor, and all sorts of other things…
19:2 NKJV) “Speak to all the congregation of the children
of Israel, and say to them: ‘You shall be holy, for I
the Lord your God am holy.
In not turning to mediums and
20:7 NKJV) Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy,
for I am the Lord your
Your sex life. (Lev. 20:26)
20:26 NKJV) And you shall be holy to Me, for I the Lord am holy, and have separated
you from the peoples, that you should be Mine.
Priests need to be careful in
their conduct, including how they wear their hair.
21:6 NKJV) They shall be holy to their God and not profane
the name of their God, for they offer the offerings of the Lord made by fire, and the bread
of their God; therefore they shall be holy.
The various feasts the
Israelites were to participate in (fellowship) were to be “holy convocations”.
23:2 NKJV) “Speak to the children of Israel,
and say to them: ‘The feasts of the Lord,
which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My
The things you dedicated to the
Lord were “holy”.
27:9 NKJV) ‘If it is an animal that men may bring as
an offering to the Lord, all that
anyone gives to the Lord
shall be holy.
:15 be holy
His Use Only
14&15, there is only one command, one imperative, and it’s the word “be”.
It’s while we are not conforming
ourselves to our former lusts that we need to obey this one command:
The Old Testament Hebrew and the
New Testament Greek words for “holy” mean the same thing.
holy – קדושׁ qadowsh – sacred, holy,
holy – ἅγιος
hagios – separated to God; sharing God’s purity
They both carry the idea of
“being set apart”. God is “holy” in that
He is “set apart” from all humans – He is pure and light, we are not.
Believers are to be “set apart”
in that we are “set apart for His use”.
things all around us that we could call “holy” in that they are set apart for a
last week that your toothbrush is holy.
You really don’t want anybody else using your toothbrush, do you?
I think coffee
pots are also holy. They are for one use only. Amen?
Would you use
your coffee pot to bail water out of a backed-up toilet?
God wants us to be holy.
He wants our bodies and our
minds to be available for His use only.
He doesn’t want
you using your body or your mind for things that belong in the toilet.
This really isn’t an optional
:15 as He who called
you is holy
When you begin to look at how
pervasive the subject of holiness is, you can get a little overwhelmed.
Does God care what I watch on
Does God care about my
relationships with others?
Does God care what I have for
Some people want to resort to a
list of do’s and don’ts.
It’s a short trip from growing
in holiness to the bondage of legalism.
The good news is that we each
have a personal coach when it comes to holiness.
The good news is that our
personal trainer is nothing like Hans and Franz.
might bring conviction, but He doesn’t bring shame.
He does want to
“pump you up” when it comes to holiness, but He has no desire that you are
showing it off to others.
Specifically, it’s the Holy
Spirit that wants to guide us.
(John 16:13 NKJV) However, when He, the Spirit of
truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His
own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you
things to come.
Another word for this process of
becoming more and more “holy” is “sanctification”
(1 Thessalonians 4:3 NKJV) For this is the will of God, your sanctification:
that you should abstain from sexual immorality;
Holiness is not
opposed to sex, but is careful to keep sex where it belongs
– in marriage.
any kind of sexual activity that takes place outside of marriage.
include things like pornography and living together without the commitment of
As Paul encourages the
Thessalonians toward sexual purity, he reminds them that these weren’t just
Paul’s ideas about how to handle your sex life, but God’s ideas. He goes on to say…
(1 Thessalonians 4:8 NKJV) Therefore he who rejects this
does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.
It is the Holy
Spirit who is living inside of us, and He wants to keep nudging you to be more
God is holy, and He now lives in
Don’t worry too much about how
you are going to become “holy”. He is at
work in you, learn to listen to Him.
We saw a marvelous promise
Thursday night in Isaiah:
30:21 NKJV) Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is
the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever
you turn to the left.
We talked about
how God wants to be leading our lives, and sometimes it’s in a quiet whisper
when we get a little off track.
Don’t worry that your life is
not 100% pure yet.
Holiness is something that we will
continue to grow in for the rest of our lives.
there might be one or two sins in your life that you’re thinking about in your
own personal holiness.
It could be an
It could be a
It could be the
anger you display towards your family.
Yet as you learn to have victory
over one area after another, you will find there there’s another new area in
your life God wants to help you clean up.
Pride and fake holiness
When we’ve conquered an area or
two of sin in our life, we can fall into the trap of either thinking we’ve
arrived or thinking that we’re better than other people.
We feel we are especially better
than those people who don’t seem to try as hard as I do.
The disease we face is called being
“holier than thou”.
Sometimes unbelievers will
accuse a Christian as being “holier than thou” because they themselves are
convicted about doing the wrong things.
But sometimes it’s actually true – we can think we are better than others.
This happened to the people of
In Isaiah 65, God talks about
people who were clearly disobeying God’s laws but …
(Isaiah 65:5 NKJV) Who say, ‘Keep to yourself, Do not come
near me, For I am
holier than you!’
are smoke in My nostrils, A fire that burns all the day.
The idea is
this – they like to tell others that they are indeed “holy”, when in fact they had
plenty of sin in their life.
make God sick.
The truly “holy” person is one
who knows that they are a sinner like the next person.
They recognize that any victory
they’ve found over certain sins has only come because of God’s help, not
because of their own goodness or strength.
They have only been saved
because Jesus died to pay for their sins.
If you think you are better than
another person because of your victories over sin, you may not be as “holy” as
If you are trying to deal with
your own sin by “white-knuckling” it, in your own strength, then you are certainly
a step away from this sickening kind of pride.
If you look down your nose at
others who don’t seem to be putting out as much effort against sin as you, who
don’t come to church as often as you, who don’t give as much money as you –
then whatever sense of holiness you think you have is fake.
It is made up of your own human
It has not been a work of the
That kind of
holiness is offensive to God.
The holiness that is precious to
God is that which starts with Jesus dying for our sins, and
ends with Jesus helping us be more holy.
Let Jesus be your king today.
In contrast, think about
Jesus. No human was ever more “holy”
than Jesus. How did Jesus react when He
was confronted with a “sinner”?
In Luke 7, Jesus is having
dinner at the house of a Pharisee.
During dinner, a “sinner” woman
comes up to Jesus and begins to weep at his feet and anoint Him with oil.
The Pharisees were upset that
Jesus let her touch Him. Jesus rebuked
the Pharisees for their lack of compassion, and pointed out that this woman had
obviously turned from her sin and was turning to Him…
7:48–50 NKJV) —48 Then He said to her, “Your sins are
forgiven.” 49 And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves,
“Who is this who even forgives sins?” 50 Then He said to the woman, “Your
faith has saved you. Go in peace.”