Summary: We are pilgrims and we have a pilgrims inheritance. We have a pilgrim’s calling and that has something to say about the way we live.
HOW PILGRIMS LIVE
1st Peter 1:13-21
I think you could call 1st Peter a pilgrims guide for the planet earth. One of the favorite words Peter uses for the Christian is pilgrims and strangers in this world. In the 15th verse, Peter describes our life down here as a time of so journeying. We are pilgrims down here, and we do not belong down here. We are looking for a city not built by hands but by God. But you and I are on our way to that city ought to live a definite lifestyle. There is something that is suppose to be characteristic about our lifestyle. We are pilgrims and we have a pilgrims inheritance. We have a pilgrim’s calling and that has something to say about the way we live.
The opening verses in this chapter tell us what it means to be saved. They tell us what God has done for us in this wonderful salvation experience. After Peter deals with the pilgrim’s salvation, he talks about the pilgrim’s lifestyle, the way we ought to live.
You say I are saved, I have fire insurance. I am going to heaven when I die. That is wonderful and true for most of us. But because you are saved and because you are going to heaven there are certain demands which the gospel places on your life. So Peter begins the 13th verse with wherefore. Now anytime the word wherefore is used it points back to what has already been said. A conclusion is going to be drawn. Wherefore on the basis you have already been saved there are certain imperatives of Christian living. Now in the opening verses we find two of these imperatives for Christian living. Look at verse 13 again. “Wherefore gird up the loins of our mind, be sober.” Now that is sort of unfamiliar talk to all of us. I have never gone into a class room and heard the teacher say students, gird up the loins of your mind. Of course there is a background to this. In those days men wore long flowing garments. Whenever they would take a long trip they would bind the garments with a belt. That is what you call girding up your loins. It is the same as we would say today roll up your sleeves and get with it. Peter is saying we ought to get down to business of living the Christian life. He is saying you and I ought to give our best thoughts to the matter of Christian living. It is not good to just idle through this life giving no thought as to how you are living.
Now there are two imperatives he gives us in these verses. The first one is found in verse 13 where he says, “be hopeful.” Now the second one is down in verse 15 where he says “Be holy.” These are the two points I want to deal with, be hopeful and be holy.
Now lets take the first one where he says be hopeful. This is sort of a tough one. Now Peter is not talking about a hope so salvation. I mean if you ask Peter if he was saved he would not answer you with a I hope so. That is the answer of a person who feels he has to work his way to heaven. What Peter is saying is that we are to rest the whole weight of your hope on the things that are going to come to you. You still don’t understand do you? Now Peter says we are pilgrims not tramps. There is a difference in a tramp and a pilgrim. A tramp just sort of wonders through this life with no where in particular to go. He never thinks about tomorrow just the here and now. A pilgrim on the other hand knows exactly who he is and where he is going. A pilgrim gives serious thought about his journey. Now you and I are pilgrims and we know where we are going. We have read the end of the book. We know we are headed to a city built by God Himself. Now here is the picture Peter wants you and I to see. He says “hope to the end of grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus.”
They tell me that there are stars out there shinning in the universe that we have never seen with the naked eye. They say that these stars are moving toward us in the direction of the earth. We haven’s seen them yet. One of these days that star that is shinning out there the light will get to us. It is already on the way. Now we are pilgrims in this world moving toward the heavenly city. Not only are we moving toward the heavenly city but God’s grace is moving toward us. We are moving toward it and it is moving toward us. There is going to be a great meeting in the air. Brothers and sisters we are moving each day closer and each day the revealing of Jesus is one day closer. I am closer to heaven today than I was yesterday. We are one day closer to seeing Jesus step out on the clouds and calling His children to heaven than we were yesterday. We are pilgrims so we ought to be looking with hope to that wonderful future God has for us.