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1 Peter 1:13-16 Wherefore1 gird up2 the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; (14) As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: (15) But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; (16) Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
Last week we saw the Apostle address the Church of Christ as “Strangers Scattered”. We are “Strangers” because God has caused us to be born into His family:
Galatians 3:26 (KJV) For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
If you have received Jesus Christ as Lord believing that He died for your sins and rose from the grave to be your Savior then God has changed you.
Romans 10:9-13 (KJV) That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Saved, born into the Kingdom of God, you who are Christians are strangers to this world. You are “peculiar people” (Exodus 19:5; 1 Peter 2:9). As the Bible says:
Titus 2:13-14 (KJV) …. the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; … gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
You are strangers to this world. Christians are often scattered through persecution. But God left you here on this earth to be a people who walk in light the midst of this present darkness.
God left us here as Light in the midst of darkness. So how are we to be light in darkness?
This is what the Bible tells us this week.
That is what the first word of our text tells us today. Do you see it? “WHEREFORE”. The word “WHEREFORE” is the Greek DIO (DEE-O) which means “For this cause”. Last week we were told what we as Christians are meant to be. This week the Bible tells us HOW to be light in the midst of darkness.
Children Of God Must Prepare Our Minds
There is a lady who frequently calls me to discuss her spiritual life. Her life is in disarray, and she can’t understand why it is she seems to be in darkness. I ask her “Where are you going to Church now? How often do you spend time in the Word of God and prayer?” Her response is always, “I know I need to do this, but I just don’t have the time.”
As I am typing this there is a knock on the Church door. Here is another woman who always has a sad story. She starts the familiar story, crying that she needs help. A few weeks ago I saw her and a friend of hers at the local Walmart with two shopping baskets overflowing with food. I’ve asked her to be in Church, and have given her Bibles to read. I have explained Christ to her. But her life is in disarray. She has no time for Christ.
So many who profess to know Christ as Savior live lives as desperate and dark as those who do not have Christ. Why? They shoot at the wrong target. They aim at the wrong goal.
Matthew D. Emmons is a rifleman, a past Olympic gold, silver, and bronze medal winner. In the 2004 Summer Olympics he was in the lead, and just needed to get one shot in the target to take home the gold. He hit the target … and lost. Why?
He shot the wrong target!
1 Peter 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind
What does it mean to
“GIRD UP the LOINS of your mind”?
In the ancient world men wore robes that usually hung down to mid calf or lower. The concept of “pants” was not yet developed. The robe was, however, very effective for those who lived in desert environment. A robe doesn’t trap sand. It is easily shaken out. It’s layers protected you from heat and rain. When you laid down at night you could arrange the robe to keep you warm. It was a great asset.
Unless you had to run or do battle.
Hanging loosely around your lower legs the robe could become a tripping hazard if you tried to run or go into battle. So before getting serious in battle you attended your robe. You would pull the robe UP toward your belt so that the robe hung about mid thigh. This was called “girding up the loins” (see 2 Kings 4:29; 9:1).
To “gird up the loins” is to man up, to get ready to be serious or do something serious. To “gird up the loins of the mind” is to take your mind in hand, to gather it up so you can get down to serious business,
to tuck the flowing robes of your mind behind your belt.
What is the BELT that we tuck our minds into?
It is the TRUTH that is God’s Word.
In Ephesians 6 the Christian is told to:
Ephesians 6:10-11 (KJV)10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
What is the BELT that the Christian has?
Ephesians 6:14 (KJV)14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
When you GIRD UP the loins of your mind you take the flowing robes of your thought processes and tuck them behind the BELT OF TRUTH, the WORD OF GOD. What did Jesus pray to the Father?
John 17:17 (KJV) (Father) Sanctify them through thy truth:
thy word is truth.
What God has presented to us in His Bible is the Truth. When we get away from what the Bible says is true, we always flounder. We cannot be light in darkness if our minds do not embrace the truths of God’s Word. We need to think as God thinks, and do as God says. It is the Bible that defines truth for us who are His.
When Job began to question his situation, coming close to accusing God of wrong, the Lord told him:
Job 38:3-7 (KJV) Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. 4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. 5 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? 6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; 7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
Job, I am the Creator Who made all things, even you. I know what is best. Gird up the loins of your mind. Focus on MY TRUTH, on what I have said.
When God sent the Prophet Jeremiah to speak His Word to a people that would not hear the Lord told him:
Jeremiah 1:17-19 (KJV) Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them. 18 For, behold, I have made thee this day a defensed city, and an iron pillar, and brazen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land. 19 And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the LORD, to deliver thee.
When we stand on the truths of God’s Word we do not stand alone, but God stands with us. Our target is to do His will. Our business is to uphold His Word – though all the world reject us, we will stand with Him.
1 Peter 1:13-16 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober,
To BE SOBER is to be LEVEL HEADED. Some Christians live by their emotions, by their feelings, but not by their FAITH.
FEELINGS always say what IF
FAITH always says EVEN IF
You have all probably seen the drunkard, overemotional, whining, staggering about. The drunkard is not himself. He is controlled by alcohol. The control point for the Christian is the Word of God and the Spirit of God. We do not STAGGER but WALK.
1 Thessalonians 5:6-10 (KJV) Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. 7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation. 9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.
We are to “walk in the Spirit” (Romans 8:1, 4; Galatians 5:16, 26)
We are to “walk in love” (Ephesians 5:2)
We are to “walk in the light” (1 John 1:7)
We are to walk knowing our works will be judged by Christ
We are to walk knowing “the end of all things is at hand” (1 Peter 4:7)
We are not to stagger, but to walk. Abraham staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief, but was STRONG IN FAITH, GIVING GLORY TO GOD (Romans 4:20). We are to be sober.
1 Peter 1:13 gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
We who are God’s Children should be looking for Jesus every single day. It is put this way in another text:
Hebrews 12:2-3 (KJV) Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
Our eyes should be on Jesus. Our hearts should be dedicated to Jesus. Just as Jesus was about His Father’s business, so should we be about our Father’s business. We are to be like Him.
Children Of God Must Shape Our Conduct
As evening shadows faded and dusk was giving way to darkness, the poet Robert Louis Stevenson, a small boy at the time, had his nose pressed against the window pane of his home. He was fascinated by the old-fashioned lamplighter coming down the street lighting the gas street lamps. “Look,” he cried out in excitement to his nanny, “there’s a man coming down the street punching holes in the darkness.”from actsweb.org
How do we as Christians “punch holes in the darkness”?
1 Peter 1:14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
We are to be “Obedient Children”. We are to put into practice our faith. We are to genuinely DO what Christ has told us to do. We are not to live the way that we used to live. The Bible says:
Ephesians 2:2-3 (KJV) Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
We used to be part of the darkness.
Darkness cannot punch holes in darkness.
We used to walk according to the Devil.
We used to walk according to the flesh and this world.
We used to be “children of disobedience”.
We used to be “children of wrath”.
That is where we WERE. But when we realized we were lost and “called upon the name of the Lord” Jesus entered our lives.
Ephesians 2:4-9 (KJV) But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
We are QUICKENED now, made alive and light by Jesus Christ. We are no longer children of this world but are Children of God.
This changes our behavior.
If you are God’s Child then BE God’s Child!
Philippians 2:2-5 (KJV) Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be like minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
We are to be Light. Light loves. Light lifts up. Light does for others. Light does not boast of itself, but boasts of God. Light looks upward to light, the Father of Lights. We are to be obedient Children of God, not imitators of this world. We are to live SACRIFICIALLY.
Romans 12:1-2 (KJV) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
We are to live together as OBEDIENT CHILDREN. We are to be focused upon Christ, living like Christ.
1 Peter 1:15-16 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; (16) Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
We who are God’s Children by the sacrifice of Christ’s Blood are to seek to be HOLY. Now, what does it mean to be HOLY?
When you think of the word “HOLY” what do you think of? Some think of chapels or cathedrals with lit candles. Others think of monks chanting, or church music. This is not what it is to be HOLY.
Holy is to do what God says do, and reject what God rejects.
Holiness is both positive and negative.
Holiness is to imitate God in behavior.
When Isaiah was allowed to look into Heaven what did he hear the angels say about God? Did the angels cry out:
Love, Love, Love, the LORD of Hosts?
No, but Isaiah heard the angels cry:
Isaiah 6:3 “Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts
the whole earth is full of his glory.”
When John the Revelator looked into Heaven what were the angels declaring about God?
Merciful, Merciful, Merciful, Lord God Almighty, or
Giving, Giving, Giving, Lord God Almighty?
Now God is all these things. But what did John hear?
Revelation 4:8 (KJV) “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty
which was, and is, and is to come.
God is Holy, which means that what He says is right is always right.
God never speaks a lie (Numbers 23:19)
There is no darkness in God (1 John 1:5)
We who are God’s Children must not fashion ourselves after the old dark ways of this world. We must follow Christ. We must follow His Word. We must be led of His Spirit. What are we told?
be ye holy in all manner of conversation
The Christian does not compartmentalize his life. Jesus is not a Visitor to our hoes, but He is at home in every aspect of our lives. ALL MEANS ALL. We are to imitate God:
Ephesians 5:1-6 (KJV) Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor. 3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; 4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this ye know, that no whore monger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
We are to live our lives so that – no matter where we go or what we do – we look different than the darkness. We are to live to honor our Lord. Jesus gave everything for us, and we are called to give everything to Him. The Scripture is our flashlight, and we are headed toward glory. Take off the old man, and put on the new.
For Christ lives in you!
C.H. Spurgeon once said “It is a blessed thing for a Christian to be strapped up in one bundle, and not to be divided into a number of separate parcels. … Paul wrote to the Colossians, “Set your affection on things above” that is, have all your affections bound up into one supreme, all-embracing affection, and then fix it all upon Christ. When the many men within the man become all one man, and he is, as we say, “all there,” and you know that he is “all there,” then has he indeed girded up the loins of his mind. May we all obey this apostolic command, and earnestly avoid the opposite!”
Focus on the Jesus Christ our Leader, our Savior, our Lord!
When a newborn baby is brought into this Church it’s members gather around that precious bundle of joy and coo over it. You often hear, “he has his father’s eyes”, or “she has her mother’s hair”. The baby always has certain traits that are inherited from mother, father, grandmother, or grandfather.
This same thing is true of the Christian. Those who are born again by faith in Jesus Christ, though they may still stumble from time to time (and what child doesn’t stumble?), bear a striking resemblance to their God. He who has called you, who has caused you to be born again is holy – separate from this world – so you should be holy. The concept that one becomes saved then ignores God until death is not taught in Scripture. If God has saved you, you are called to be like Him. Saved by faith, justified by God the Holy Spirit, you are called to live out your faith.
Live for Him if He lives in you!
1 G1352, διό, dio, dee-o’, From G1223 and G3739; through which thing, that is, consequently: – for which cause, therefore, wherefore.
2 Aorist Middle Participle of G328, ἀναζώννυμι, anazōnnumi, an-ad-zone’-noo-mee, From G303 and G2224; to gird afresh: – gird up.