Summary: A sermon addressing the steps towards holiness.

Be All That You Should Be

I Peter 1:13-17

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From 1980 until 2001 "Be All That You Can Be" was the slogan used by the army in its recruiting. Once an individual enlists in the Army they are sent to "Basic Training" aka "Boot Camp" in order to be prepared to "Be All That They Can Be". Basic training is designed to prepare recruits physically, mentally and emotionally for their service to the USA. They are taught things such as Discipline, time management, teamwork, perseverance and leadership. Basic Training is a very intense experience. But this training is not intended to “break” recruits. In fact, the combination of physical training, field exercises and classroom time is designed to make individuals strong and capable.

Once we become Christians we face certain circumstances and situations that will develop us Mentally, Physically, Emotionally and most importantly Spiritually. Though we may not enjoy some of the difficulties that we face in life, God uses them to train us, prepare us and to make us into what He would have us to be. This is what Paul meant when he said "...our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory" (2 Corinthians 4:17)

The American solder who goes through combat training is tested and pushed to the limit. But this is necessary because he must be ready for the battle that he will face! The same is true for us, we are trained and prepared so that we will be ready to fight the battle that is to come in the Christian life! That is the context of what we read in 1 Peter Chapter 1. Peter opened this chapter addressing the great benefits that these believers enjoyed as a result of their position "in Christ". They were "called and chosen by God" , They possessed hope in Christ, There was an inheritance that was "reserved in Heaven for them" , He also stated that they were "kept by the power of God". Verses 10-12 cover the greatness of their salvation. But along with the benefits Peter also addressed the struggles that they were facing. Verse 6 tells us that they were in "heaviness" and facing "manifold temptations". Peter followed this up with some encouragement in verse 7 ...the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

As we arrive in verses 13-17 there is a shift in Peter's focus. Everything he had said up to this point has been stating facts concerning salvation and life in Christ. Now he begins to give commands to the Christians. To continue with our military theme, it is as if Peter was a commanding officer giving orders to his men. And the commands that were given to these first century Christians apply to us today. I would like to look at this portion of scripture and consider this thought "Be All That You Should Be!"

So far in this study we have seen the great benefits of salvation through Christ. Now we will see our responsibilities and duties as Christians. These duties are not conditions of our salvation rather they are consequences of it. So what must we do to "Be All That We Should Be?" We must Be Prepared, Be Focused, Be Obedient, Be Steadfast, and Be Holy "

Verse 13 tells us that:

I. The Christian Should Be Prepared - v13a Wherefore gird up the loins of your sober...

In ancient times people wore long flowing tunics. Around the tunic in the midsection they would wear a girdle (belt). These long garments would get in the way when fighting or working. When the Hebrews went to battle with the Philistines, the men would lift the hem of their tunic up and tuck it into their girdle. This provided more freedom of movement. And the garment would no longer be a hindrance in the midst of hard labor or battle. When Peter says “gird up the loins of your mind” he is saying to "get ready for battle".

Christians must be prepared mentally. We must remove anything from our minds that would hinder our duty! We must be focused on the task at hand. Remember what Paul said in - Colossians 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. - We must focus our thoughts on those things that allow us to obey God and serve God with complete, unhindered devotion. Peter goes on to say that we are to "Be sober". Sober - {G} (nēphō - nay'-fo) To be vigilant, watching. prepared. - "calm and collected in spirit, to be temperate, circumspect,". This carries the idea of having mental control. There are things that intoxicate the mind Worry, Anger, Bitterness, Jealousy and Resentment. When we dwell on these things (and many others) it clouds our mind and interferes with our judgment. If you try to fight a battle when your mind is focused on something else you will be overtaken by the enemy! We are to remove those things from our mind that will distract us from the task at hand. This theme is echoed in - Titus 2:12 (we should deny) ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

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