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1Peter 1:13-16

Sunday Morning Bible Study

October 13, 2019


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, modern Turkey.

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.

Video:  Paul, Apostle of Christ – Games Tomorrow

Video:  Quo Vadis – Nero kills Christians

The main themes that we will see woven through this tapestry of difficulty are:

Suffering -

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 their own.

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 this)

: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 upanazonnumi (“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

loinsosphus – 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

minddianoia – 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 sobernepho – to be sober, to be calm and collected in spirit; to be temperate, dispassionate, circumspect

present active participle

fullyteleios – perfectly, completely

rest your hopeelpizo – to hope

aorist active imperative

broughtphero to carry; to bear

present passive participle

:13 gird up the loins of your mind

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. 

Video:  Gird Up Your Loins

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.


Healthy mind

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 important.

Sometimes just 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 up.

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.

Even emotions 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 arrives.
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”.

When everyone 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.

(Daniel 3:16–18 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.”

Nebuchadnezzar responded by throwing them into the furnace.

Video:  The Bible – The Fiery Furnace

Daniel records 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.

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So here’s the deal – just what are you counting on?
What is your “hope” resting in fully?

As believers, 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?  Nothing.

:14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance;

childrenteknon – offspring, children

obedienthupakoe – obedience, compliance, submission; obedience rendered to anyone’s counsels, an obedience shown in observing the requirements of Christianity

not conformingsuschematizo – 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.

formerproteron – before, prior; of time, former

ignoranceagnoia – lack of knowledge, ignorance; esp. of divine things; of moral blindness

lustsepithumia – 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 conformingσυσχηματίζω 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 their mold.

: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.”

holyhagios – most holy thing, a saint

conductanastrophe – manner of life, conduct, behavior, deportment

beginomai to become, begin to be

aorist passive imperative

:16 Be holy, for I am holy

Peter is quoting the book of Leviticus.

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)
(Leviticus 6:18 NKJV) …Everyone who touches them must be holy.’ ”
What you eat and don’t eat (clean and unclean).
(Leviticus 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. 19:2)
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…
(Leviticus 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 psychics…
(Leviticus 20:7 NKJV) Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am the Lord your God.
Your sex life. (Lev. 20:26)
(Leviticus 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.
(Leviticus 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”. (Lev. 23:2)
(Leviticus 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 feasts.
The things you dedicated to the Lord were “holy”.
(Leviticus 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

Between vss 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:

Be holy

The Old Testament Hebrew and the New Testament Greek words for “holy” mean the same thing.
holyקדושׁ qadowsh sacred, holy, set apart
holyἅγιος 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”.

There are things all around us that we could call “holy” in that they are set apart for a special use.

Caleb mentioned 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 thing.

:15 as He who called you is holy


Personal trainer

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 TV?
Does God care about my relationships with others?
Does God care what I have for breakfast?
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.
Video:  Hans and Franz
The good news is that our personal trainer is nothing like Hans and Franz.

Our trainer 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.
Jesus said,

(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”
Paul wrote,

(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.

Immorality is any kind of sexual activity that takes place outside of marriage.

That would include things like pornography and living together without the commitment of marriage.

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 like Him.

God is holy, and He now lives in us.
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:

(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.
Right now there might be one or two sins in your life that you’re thinking about in your own personal holiness.

It could be an addiction.

It could be a sexual sin.

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 Isaiah’s day.
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!’ These 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.

These people 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 you think.
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 effort.
It has not been a work of the Holy Spirit.

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…

(Luke 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.”