Summary: The obligations and responsibilities divine salvation places on all who have received can be summarized in three words: 1) hope, 2) holiness, and 3) honor.
This week, Major William Hilton Fletcher received the Canadian Star of Military Valour medal from Governor-General Michaelle Jean at the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa. Fletcher was one of six soldiers to receive decorations for military valour after service in Afghanistan.
Whenever you hear testimonies of soldiers fighting in combat, displaying courage under fire, you hear words of duty, courage and responsibility. They recognize that freedom isn’t free. With great privileges comes great responsibility.
In His parable of the faithful steward, Jesus told His hearers:
Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.”
For Christians, there is no greater gift than salvation. Nothing can demand a greater response.
When we look at our lives, we have the privilege of association and belief. For most of us we enjoy homes, families, health, safety and opportunity. Like those who are serving in a physical war, we who are serving in a spiritual conflict have a duty.
In verses 1–12 of 1 Peter, the apostle Peter described salvation’s supreme place in God’s foreordained plan, explained its marvelous promise of eternal inheritance, and proclaimed its intrinsic greatness. Then in verse 13 Peter shifts to the imperative mode. He moves from the indicative describing and explaining the nature of salvation to commanding those who have received it concerning the obligations and responsibilities divine salvation places on all who have received it. These obligations can be summarized in three words: 1) hope, 2) holiness, and 3) honor.
1) BELIEVERS MUST RESPOND WITH HOPE 1 PT. 1:13
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1:13)
The transitional conjunction therefore moves the reader from statement to application, from fact to inference. It directs believers to the main emphasis of this verse, which is to set their hope. Elpisate is an aorist active imperative by which Peter exhorts believers in military fashion to a decisive kind of action, to a hope:
• We’ve seen previously, that Hope is an obligatory act of the will, not merely an emotional feeling. They are commanded to live expectantly, anticipating with “a living hope” their “inheritance … reserved in heaven … to be revealed in the last time” (1:3, 4, 5).
• Basically defined, hope is the Christian’s attitude toward the future (Acts 24:15, Titus 1:2, 2:13, 3:7). In its essence, hope is equivalent to faith (Rom. 5:1–2, Gal. 5:5, Heb. 11:1), it is trusting God (1 Peter 1:21).
• The major difference between the two attitudes is that faith involves trusting God in the present (Rom. 1:17, 3:28, 2 Cor. 5:7, Gal. 2:20, 1 Tim. 6:12, James 1:6), whereas hope is future faith, trusting God for what is to come (Heb. 3:6). Faith appropriates what God has already said and done in His revealed Word, and hope anticipates what He will yet do, as promised in Scripture.
Quote: The word hope I take for faith, and indeed hope is nothing else but the constancy of faith. JOHN CALVIN (1509–1564)
Fully means unreservedly, and could also be rendered “perfectly” or “completely” Christians are not to hope half-heartedly or indecisively, but with finality, without any equivocation or doubt concerning the promises of God (cf. Rom. 8:25, 15:13, Col. 1:23, Heb. 6:19–20).
The Thessalonians illustrated this:
1 Thess. 1:9b–10 For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.
Anonymous Quote: Hope looks for the good in people instead of harping on the worst in them. Hope opens doors where despair closes them. Hope discovers what can be done instead of grumbling about what cannot be done. Hope draws its power from a deep trust in God. Hope “lights a candle” instead of “cursing the darkness.” Hope regards problems, small or large, as opportunities. Hope cherishes no illusions, nor does it yield to cynicism.
Please turn to 1 Thes. 5
The ultimate feature of the believer’s hope is the grace that will be brought.
Peter used the present participle pheromençn, but the translators express it as future, recognizing the Greek grammatical construction that indicates the absolute assurance of a future event by referring to it as if it were already happening. The context clearly calls for such a use of the present, because the event that will be brought is the future revelation (apokalupsei, “unveiling”) of Jesus Christ—His Second Coming.
The Armor of God is given for His saints to be ready for battle: