Summary: In verse 13 he urges us to prepare our minds for action. Paul urged us to be transformed by the renewing of our mind. The mind is always the greatest battlefield in any age.
Based on I Peter 1:13-16 Peter is the Apostle of hope, and also the
Apostle of holiness. In the first half of this chapter his theme was hope.
Peter does not leave us perched on the high board of heavenly hope, however, but
plunges us immediately into the pool of the practical. The biblical
writers are almost always concerned with our present earthly life.
What good is hope that does not result in holiness? What good is
doctrine if it does not lead to duty? The Apostle Paul, after 11
chapters of doctrine begins the 12th chapter of Romans with these
words: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to
offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-which
is your spiritual worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern
of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-His
good, pleasing and perfect will.” All of those 11 chapters of doctrine
are worthless if it does not lead to a holy life. It is interesting to
notice that Peter and Paul used the same method. They first give the
basis for the Christian life and hope, and then they enter into the
Peter begins verse 13 with wherefore, which is the same as
Paul’s therefore. He is saying that since it is true that we have a
great hope, and that we are sure of an inheritance incorruptible and
undefiled that fades not away, let us live now as if what is to be
already is. Like Paul, he stresses two areas of our life that are to be
affected by our hope.
I. THE MENTAL LIFE. v. 13-14
Thought is important in the Christian life, for Scripture says,
“As a man thinks in his heart so is he.” We are what we think, and
if we think poorly we will live poorly, and we will communicate our
faith poorly. We are to be ready at all times to give a reason for the
hope that is within us. This calls for thinking, and for a mind that is
exercised by wrestling with the Word of God. Our experience is all
we need to save us, but experience needs to be expressed and
explained to others if they are to be saved. We must learn to
communicate our Christian experience in such a way that we
convince rather than confuse.
Let us suppose that I have just returned from Africa and want
to tell you of an exciting experience. When I was ready to get on the
ship coming back to America one of the native dock workers laid
down his load and said to me “kalunga baywana.” I was amazed
and hardly knew what to say, but I replied, “Buto hata nosook.”
The smile that came across his face revealed the truth of what he has
said. I sailed back to America with the hope that many could hear
of this experience. Does anyone know what that was all about? Of
course not. What good is an exciting experience if it is not put in
language that can be understood? What good is it to tell others of
our experience in Christ if we do not speak to them in a language
they can understand? The task of communicating the Gospel to our
world in a language they can understand is one of the greatest
challenges for the human mind. That is why we have so many new
versions of the Bible, and that is why loving God with all of our
mind is so essential.
In verse 13 he urges us to prepare our minds for action. Paul
urged us to be transformed by the renewing of our mind. The mind
is always the greatest battlefield in any age. The churches greatest
enemies have always come from the realm of ideas. Swords, fire and
lions never hindered the church from growing, but false ideas have.
Heresies have kept millions out of the kingdom, and cults today are
still doing that. Ideas are the great weapons of warfare, for ideas
captivate the mind, and to reach the minds of men is a far greater
objective than any other. Ronald Youngblood use to say, “The
weapons of our warfare are words and we must wield them well.”
This calls for dedicated minds.
Peter is saying that we must not be sloppy in our thinking. We
are not to let our minds be tossed and tangled by the winds of the
world’s thinking. Loose thinking leads to loose living. A person
who is slipshod in his thought life will stumble across the problems
of life like a drunkard stumbles across the tracks in a freight train
yard. The Christian needs to have a dedicated mind. Paul said,