“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; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’” (1 Peter 1:13-16)
The heading of this article is the title of a book written by Francis Schaeffer. The premise for his book is this, that when we base society on the Bible, on the infinite-personal God Who is there and has spoken, this provides an absolute to which we are to conform our lives and by which we can judge society.
As redeemed children of God and heirs of eternal life in Christ Jesus, we are on a pilgrimage, with the final destination being heaven. While on this journey, we want to live God-pleasing lives that honor the Lord and serve for our good and for the welfare of others.
For an answer to the question “How should we then live?” we certainly wouldn’t look to the unbelieving world. Modern-day society has many things upside down, calling evil good and good evil. It is like the wayward Israelites about whom the Bible oftentimes said, as in Judges 17:6, “everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” In other words, they lived according to the dictates of their sin-corrupted minds. In view of this, the Apostle Peter admonishes his readers to be “obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance.” (verse 14)
Instead of taking our cue from the world as to how we should live, Peter directs us to the ways of our God by saying to us, “as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’” (verses 15-16) The Lord God provides us with the standard by which we are to conduct our lives in giving us the Ten Commandments. Live and walk in the ways of Christian love.
In preparation for our heaven-bound journey, Peter exhorts us, “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober.” (verse 13) To our western minds, this saying is difficult to understand, but it would have been easily understood by those who lived in the ancient Near East. In that culture, people often wore long flowing garments, and when they got ready for action or a journey, they drew up their clothing and tied a belt around it. This enabled them to go about their tasks unhindered. As we make our way toward heaven, we are exhorted to prepare our minds for the journey by gathering up and casting aside any fleshly thought or worldly way that would hinder our walk of faith with God and cause us to stumble and fall spiritually. To this Peter adds “be sober,” that is, exercise self-control. With the help of God, we shouldn’t let our sinful natures get the better of us.
As sinner-saints we still fall into sin. On account of this, Peter exhorts us to “rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (verse 13) The hope of our salvation rests alone upon the saving grace of God. That grace takes away all our sins and enables us to be welcomed into heaven.
There is no better journey to be on than that which ends in heaven. Lord Jesus, help us to reach our destination.