Summary: Exposition of 1 Peter 1:13-16
Text: 1 Peter 1:13-16
Title: What Now?
Date/Place: LSCC, 6/5/05, AM
A. Opening illustration: leading the seminar for church planters at SEBTS before I left.
B. Background to passage: This is a pivotal point in Peter’s letter. For the first 12 verses he expounded on the greatness of God and His salvation even during times of great tribulation and suffering. Now he moves on to speak about how we should live based on these other foundations. He uses the word “therefore” for His transition. These are commands, instructions to the suffering believers. They are things that will help them progress in their Christian life toward maturity.
C. Main thought: In our text we will see three practical goals for genuine Christians
A. Strive Toward Mental Self-Discipline (v. 13)
1. Peter uses an idiom that would have been very familiar to his readers. Explain the clothing of the time, and how they had to tie up the loose ends in their belt in order to prepare for labor or war. Peter uses this image figuratively to describe the mental preparation that a Christian needs for service. He says that if you want to act in a manner consistent with you conversion, you must tie up the loose ends of your minds. Then he goes on to use another word, translated “sober.” This word figuratively means self-controlled, calm, collected, temperate, or spiritually alert. Implied by Peter is the world’s ability to intoxicate the Christian, and distract him spiritually. These distractions can come from otherwise harmless things such as: family, careers, money, recreation, power/position, etc. But they cripple our minds from growth.
2. Luke 12:35, 2 Cor 10:5, Phil 4:8, Rom 12:2, Col 3:2-4
3. Illustration: back when you were in school, did you ever show up to a class and get a test that you didn’t know was coming? Or maybe you stayed up all night preparing for a test that was coming, and you get there to hear the teacher say it has been put off till next week? At Fire Prevention and Safety events, they always tell you to have a plan, discuss it with family, think of all possible scenarios, and remove obstacles. “Discipline in the Christian life is just as essential as in any other walk of life where success depends on a determined, single-minded commitment.”
4. The battle for our minds is where we win or lose the Christian life in a practical sense. The world, the flesh, and the devil usually win before the actual temptation even comes, because of the mental status of most Christians. So what are the mental loose ends that Peter warns the Christians to tie up? Things like fear should be tucked in, and replaced with faith. Worry should be tied down, and replaced with trust and confidence in God. Jealousy and covetousness replaced with contentment. Hate replaced with love. Unforgiveness should be replaced with forgiveness. Pride should be replaced with humility. Anger and aggression. When we allow these things to rule and reign in our minds, we will have a distorted view of other situations in our lives. We must ask God to help, and allow the Holy Spirit to convict us of these things and respond appropriately with repentance. Scripture memorization will help in this area, as well as other spiritual disciplines such as fasting and prayer.
B. Strive Toward a Godward Focus (v. 13)
1. Peter says here to fix or set your hope, or your focus on the events of Christ’s return. Some translations say “to the end” or “completely.” The word means perfectly or fully. The idea here is not to go around studying prophecy or always speaking of when Jesus is coming back, but to live all of life with the perspective that Jesus is the one that we ultimately seek to please. And that every thought, every deed, every word will be brought to judgment under Him, either to His glory or to His displeasure.
3. Illustration: the eyes of a boxer before the fight, Buddy as I hold in my hand the fetching toy, Angie’s testimony about how much better life is when you turn things over to God and let Him handle the stress. Advice from Kevin Monroe, the financial planner is to live like He is coming tomorrow, and plan as if He were coming in 100 years. As a Pastor, I usually get the Sunday School answers, regardless of reality. People feel like they have to clean up around the Pastor.
4. This has far reaching affects on our lives. To family, work, recreation, etc. How would we structure our family activities if Jesus were a member of our family? If Jesus were our financial planner, would we manage our finances differently? What would we watch on TV if Jesus watched with us? Dichotomy in the Christian life is hypocrisy. Jesus is always there. And there is no distinction between the secular and sacred. All life, everything you do is sacred, and a form our worship or dishonor to Christ. Having a consistent devotional life with God is key to maintaining focus.