Summary: What I believe ought to affect how I live.
What gets you excited?
• Your home?
• Your job?
The main topic of 1 Peter 1 is our hope through Jesus Christ. Chuck Swindoll said, “We can live several weeks without food, days without water, and only minutes without oxygen, but without hope—forget it.”
In 1 Peter 1, CELEBRATION comes first; COMMANDS come second.
“Therefore” – Peter is saying, “God has given us the amazing blessings of salvation (see vv. 3-12); therefore, think and act in the following ways.”
1. Live a life of HOPE (v. 13).
“Therefore, prepared your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed” (v. 13).
The GRACE of God is the source of our hope.
“Hope” – Hope is not simply a wish for the future, as the word is most often used in modern English (e.g., “I hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow,” even though there can be no certainty about the weather). Rather, hope, as used in the NT, involves the idea of assurance that what is hoped for will certainly come to pass. This is because future hope in the NT is based on something that has already happened in the past, the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
William Barclay wrote, “The Christian hope is the hope which has seen everything and endured everything, and has still not despaired, because it believes in God. The Christian hope is not hope in the human spirit, in human goodness, in human endurance, in human achievement; the Christian hope is hope in the power of God” (The Letter to the Romans).
“The grace to be given you” – “The grace” refers to the consummation of salvation (which is undeserved).
“When Jesus Christ is revealed” – When Christ returns to earth.
What should we do to stir up our hope?
a. “Prepare your minds for action.”
“Gird up the loins of your mind” (KJV).
CULTURAL BACKGROUND: The phrase describes the act of tucking up a long robe into a belt, allowing the legs more freedom of movement. Peter applies the expression to our thinking. In other words, get your minds ready for work, or roll up the shirt sleeves of your mind.
Peter possibly uses this expression because Jesus also used in His teaching about being ready for His return: “Let your loins be girded about” (Luke 12:35 KJV).
b. “Be self-controlled.”
“Be sober” (KJV). We can become “intoxicated” with the things of this world. God wants us to think clearly about our hope.
“Fully” – “Hope to the end” (KJV); this speaks of an undivided expectation. God doesn’t want us to be half-hearted hopers.
2. Live a life of HOLINESS (vv. 14-16).
“As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy’” (vv. 14-16).
The HOLINESS of God is the source of our holiness.
“As obedient children” – Any commitment (or faith) that does not result in obedience is a misunderstanding of the gospel message and less than Christian faith.
“Do not conform to the evil desires you had” – The Greek word for “do not conform” (used also in Romans 12:2) means “to patterns one’s actions or life after.” God expects us to act and think differently.
What does it mean to be “holy”?
a. To be holy means to be separated FROM EVIL.
b. To be holy means to be separated FOR GOD.
“In all you do” – This refers to our lifestyle. The Greek word is used almost as much in 1 Peter as in the rest of the NT altogether. (It appears in 1 Peter 1:15, 18; 2:12; 3:1, 2, 16 as well as in 2 Peter 2:7; 3:11. It is found in James 3:13; Gal. 1:13; Eph. 4:22; 1 Tim. 4:12; and Heb. 13:7 elsewhere in the NT.)
(Verse 16 quotes Leviticus 19:2. The verse immediately following the charge to be holy in Lev. 19:2 reads, “Each of you must respect his mother and father” (19:3). Is it a coincidence that Peter’s next command is also expressed in terms of the father-child relationship?)
3. Live a life of REVERENT FEAR (vv. 17-21).
“Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear” (v. 17).
The JUDGMENT of God is the source of our fear.
“Judges each man’s work impartially” – Without favoritism (as opposed to taking bribes or considering the social standing of the plaintiffs); we may be God’s children, but our heavenly Father is an impartial Judge. Peter is saying to his readers: “Don’t fear your persecutors; fear God.”