Summary: There are a number of commands given by Peter that will cause us to grow up in our salvation.
A. The story is told of a young boy who during a church service on Sunday Morning announced to his mother, “Mom, I've decided to become a preacher when I grow up.”
1. “That's wonderful, but what made you decide that?” His mother asked.
2. “Well,” said the little boy, “If I have to go to church on Sunday anyway, then I figure it will be more fun to stand up and yell than to sit down and listen.”
3. Some of us are still trying to decide what we want to be when we grow up!
B. All of the Christmas holiday commercials have begun, and one caught my eye yesterday.
1. It was a Toys’ R Us Commercial. Are any of you going to spend time at the Toys’ R Us this holiday season?
2. Our family has kind of graduated out of the period where things at Toys’ R Us dominates the wish list.
3. And this illustrates what I want us to talk about today.
4. Do you remember what the Toys’ R Us jingle says? – “I don’t want to grow up I’m a Toys’ R Us kid.”
5. The rest of the jingle includes these words: “There's a million toys at Toys 'R Us that I can play with! More bikes, more trains, more video games, it's the biggest toy store there is! I don't want to grow up, because if I did, I wouldn't be a Toys 'R Us kid!”
C. Who is the most famous kid who never wanted to grow up? Peter Pan.
1. You are probably familiar with the Peter Pan whom Disney popularized in the 1953 Disney animated film – you’re looking at a picture of his Disney rendition.
2. But what you probably don’t know is the fact that Peter Pan is a character created by Scottish novelist and playwright J.M. Barrie who lived from 1860–1937.
3. Barrie created this mischievous boy who can fly and magically refuses to grow up.
4. Peter Pan spends his never-ending childhood adventuring on the small island of Neverland as the leader of his gang the Lost Boys while interacting with mermaids, Indians, fairies and pirates, and from time to time meeting ordinary children from the world outside.
D. While all this is “fun and games” in the imaginary world, it is not so funny in the real world.
1. In the real world we realize that “growing old is compulsory - growing up is optional.”
2. It becomes a very tragic thing when a person grows old, but doesn’t grow up.
3. That’s true in the physical realm and even more so in the spiritual realm.
4. Picture the person who has been a Christian for 30 years, but still acts like a spiritual infant.
E. It is God’s will for each of us that we grow up in our salvation – that we mature in Christ.
1. In today’s section from 1 Peter, the apostle Peter gives us a number of commands to follow that will help us grow up in our salvation.
2. Let’s try to gain a better grip on these commands so we will not be stuck in spiritual infancy, but will grow up spiritually.
I. Command #1: Develop a Clear Head
A. Peter wrote: 13 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.
1. Peter’s command to develop a clear mind has three parts.
2. The first two parts contain metaphorical images that prepare us for the main verb “to set our hope.”
3. We, who are Christians, are to be living in a future tense – our present decisions and actions are to be governed by our future hope.
4. Just as an engaged couple makes all their plans in light of their future wedding, so we should be living with the expectation of what will take place when Jesus Christ returns.
B. The first image Peter gives us is captivating – “prepare your minds for action” is the way the NIV used to say it.
1. The new NIV says “with minds that are alert.”
2. This is a translation of an ancient image that literally reads, “gird up the loins of your mind.”
3. The image is drawn from the ancient forms of dress (and still modern dress of some in the Middle East) in which a man’s long outer “shirt” draped down to his ankles.
4. This kind of long clothing is not conducive to agile and quick motions or strenuous work.
5. As a result, when such actions were needed, a man tucked his shirt into his belt – thus preparing himself for action.
C. Peter’s second image calls for being fully sober – to be self controlled.