1 Peter 1:13, “Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
Each of us has a variety of things about which we must think on a regular basis. For example, we must think about our families, our finances, our health, our future, our churches, and our careers. It is no sin to think about such things, for the Apostle Paul taught us to be anxious for nothing but to pray about everything (Philippians 4:6-7) and the Apostle Peter exhorted us to cast our cares upon the Lord because he cares for us (1 Peter 5:6-7). So, there’s nothing wrong with bringing such things before the Lord, but here at the beginning of his letter, Peter encourages us to fix our minds on one thing that will put all other things into proper perspective.
Specifically, Peter writes, “set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ,” and to help us succeed at this, he adds that we should (1) prepare our minds for action and (2) be sober-minded. The Greek phrase here for “preparing your minds” literally reads “gird up the loins of your minds.” In that day, men wore robe-like clothing in order to run or compete or work; they had to roll up their robes above the knees. This they called “girding-up their loins,” and Peter wants his brothers and sisters in Christ to do the this with regard to their minds. He wants us to develop a mental state in which we are always ready to do whatever the Lord calls us to do in a given situation. He wants us to be alert, vigilant, and eager for action.
Therefore, Peter adds that we ought also to be sober-minded, which literally means to be free from alcohol. But here, Peter is not so much emphasizing our relationship to strong drink as to any inward or outward influences that distort our thinking and keeping us from seeing the great things God has done for us in Christ and the many related things he calls on us to do in the name of Christ. In other words, Peter wants our minds to be free from unnecessary distractions so that we’ll be alert, vigilant, and eager for action.
With this, Peter comes to the primary exhortation of 1 Peter 1:13 and writes, “set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” To be more specific, he is urging us to fix our minds on the things about which he wrote in 1:3-9. By his great mercy,
- The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has caused us to be born again to a living hope that is certain and unfading.
- The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has demonstrated the certainty of our hope by raising Jesus from the dead, both showing his power over death and his commitment to raising us from death.
- The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has caused us to come into an inheritance that is kept in heaven for us, and therefore cannot be destroyed, corrupted, or diminished in quality or effect.
- The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is guarding us by his power, through faith in him, so that we will, in fact, inherit all that he has granted to us in Jesus.
- The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ allows us to suffer and be tested in this life only so that the genuineness of our faith can be proven and the quality of our faith refined, preparing us to inherit the outcome of our faith, namely, the salvation of our souls.
Indeed, each of us has a variety of things about which we must think on a regular basis, but Peter longs for us to learn the joy and freedom of fixing our minds on the things of God so that all other things will take their proper place. So, the question becomes, how are we to do this? How do we discipline our minds to be prepared for action, free from distraction, and focused on the things of God?
Peter doesn’t offer us a direct answer to these questions, however, since his focus is on the mind, it is obvious enough that we must prepare, focus, and fix our minds on the things of God by spending time with God in his Word. For as we spend time with our God and Savior each day, humbling ourselves before his Word and his Spirit, he himself prepares us, sobers us up, and gives us a passion for the things he is determined to accomplish for us in Christ Jesus.
So, the application for today is simple, but don’t allow the simplicity of it to blind you to the soul-stabilizing power of it. Let us resolve right now that by the grace of our Father, the sacrifice of our Savior, and the power of the Holy Spirit, we will open up his Word each day and allow him to do his work in us. Let us resolve right now that we will spend devoted time with the one who has given so much to us and prepared so much for us in Christ Jesus. Indeed, let us resolve right now to fully surrender to the one who has caused us to come into the fullness of an inheritance that is “imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:4).
Charles Handren is pastor for Adult Ministries at Cross of Glory Baptist Church and an author residing with his wife Kimberly in Wayzata MN. His wife Kimberly (1991) is a Spanish and English as a Second Language teacher, and his daughter, Rachel (1994), owns and operates a dance studio in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Charles enjoys reading, cycling, hiking, and traveling. He holds degrees from California Baptist University (Riverside, California) and the American Baptist Seminary of the West (Berkeley, California), and is currently a Doctor of Ministry student at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.