Gird Up The Loins Of Your Mind (Parts 1&2)

Photo by Maria Pop:

Turn with me in your Bibles to 1 Peter. As we have just finished studying through James, you should know where 1 Peter is. Hebrews, James, 1 Peter. This is part 1 of a two part message. May God the Holy Spirit open hearts and move in our lives for the glory of Christ Jesus, and for the growth of the Kingdom of God.

Part 1

The Bible tells us that the Church is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone(Ephesians 2:20). When the Church was first formed on the Day of Pentecost so many years ago, the Bible says that those who belonged to the Church by faith in Christ devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers(Acts 2:42). The Apostles were those men whom Jesus named and called “Apostles”, men who knew the Word of God, the Old Testament Scripture. These hand picked men (and yes, even Judas was handpicked) walked with and sat at the feet of Jesus for over 3 ½ years. Three of these Apostles were particularly taught of Christ. This “inner circle” was Peter, James, and John. When Jesus called James and John, He named them “Boanerges” or “The Sons of Thunder” (Mark 3:17). The Bible doesn’t tell us why Jesus named them “Son of Thunder”, but we can guess that

the way they lived their lives for the Lord (much like a thunder storm) changed the world in which they ministered. Jesus took two competitive brothers and transformed them into world changers.

James was the first Apostle to be killed (Acts 12:2), as he was the Pastor at the Church of Jerusalem. His brother John was the last Apostle to die. John was exiled on the Island of Patmos, and there he was given great revelation regarding the end of days. John also wrote more of the New Testament than any other Apostle. He was “the disciple whom Jesus loved”.

What about “Peter”?

Peter was a rough fisherman when Andrew his brother (another Apostle) introduced Jesus to him. Peter was called Simon” until Jesus renamed him Peter” (John 1:42). The name “Pétros” means “a piece of rock”. Peter would go on – after many missteps and mistakes – to become the Chief Apostle, rock solid because he learned to live his life standing on the Rock that is Christ (1 Corinthians 10:4; Matthew 21:42).

God used the Apostles and Prophets to write His Bible (see 2 Peter 1:21). As the Chief Apostle and Fisherman writes, moved by the Holy Spirit of God, he tells us:

1 Peter 1:13 Wherefore 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;

Gird Up Your Loins – Listen To God’s Word, Not Satan’s

Word Study: Let’s focus on the command, gird up the loins of your mind. The words gird up is the Greek ἀναζώννυμι anazṓnnymi, {pronounced an-ad-zone’-noo-mee}. In the ancient world – the Arabic and Hebraic desert countries – citizens wore long flowing robes to keep the hot sun and sand off of their bodies. These long robes became a hazard when engaging in battle. The wise warrior would, prior to battle, gather his flowing robes, and pass the loose ends under his leather belt, freeing his legs and feet from a tripping hazard. The loins” {Greek ὀσφῦς osphŷs, [pronounced os-foos’]} is the center of the person, the place where generative power or semen resided. By “girding up” your loins, you not only removed a tripping hazard out of your way, but you also added additional protection to one of the most sensitive areas of your body. When Peter says:

gird up the loins of your mind”

he is telling us to prepare ourselves for battle – and ANYTHING GOES. Our enemy will do whatever he can to win. Our enemy attacks first in your mind. Our enemy has always done this. The Bible says:

James 1:8 (ESV) {The} double-minded man {is} unstable in all his ways.

Illustrate: The double mind is the dangerous mind. Several years ago I bought a house here that had a beautiful Bradford Pear Tree in the front yard. I loved that old tree. The trunk came up to about my chin, then split into two parts, like a fork. One day we had heavy winds, and the next morning I came out my beautiful tree was split in two. Several brothers and sisters from the Church came and helped me clean it up. But the tree destroyed itself. The double minded will destroy themselves.

Satan loves to help foster a double mind in us. If he can get us to be double minded, in time we will destroy ourselves!

Satan, originally called Lucifer, (“Bright and Shining One”) tries to lead us into following his same path of destruction. A few of the names he is given in Scripture are:

Satan (the Accuser of the Brethren) 52x
Devil (the Slanderer of God and Man) 102x
Tempter (he tempts to sin)
Old Serpent (Revelation 12:9)
Deceiver of the whole world
The Father of Lies (John 8:44)

The devil leads us to do anything that will cause us todishonor Christ, and to hurt God’s glory. We who are saved are to – with love – stand firm in what our God has commanded us to do. The Scripture says:

2 Timothy 2:24-26 (ESV) And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

The devil plays a mind game. If he cannot lead people away from salvation in Christ, he will do his best to lead the Christian away from the blessings of God. To put it bluntly, if Satan can’t get you to enlist in HIS ARMY, he will do what he can to lead us to betray our Commander in Chief, Jesus Christ. This is what the Devil – that Old Serpent – did in the Garden of Eden. The Devil questions the Word of God:

Genesis 3:1 (ESV) “Did God actually say ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the Garden?’”

Questioning the Word of God, the devil waits for our response so he can decide what to say next. If we resist the devil, he would flee from us (James 4:7). But too often, like Eve, we engage the devil. When we do, the devil comes out directly with his lie.

Genesis 3:4-5 (ESV) “You will surely NOT die! For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil”

The snare of the devil is to question the Word of God.

This is how the devil ensnares us. He questions the Word of God. He introduces something against what God has said. Some of the questions of the devil you may have heard on mainstream media:

Has God really said He made them male and female?”

“Did Jesus really say that God made them male and female?” (Matthew 19:4)

“Did God require a man to unite to his wife only?” (Genesis 2:24)

“If you feel like you’re a woman in a man’s body, why would God NOT want you to change yourself?” (Deuteronomy 22:25; 1 Corinthians 6:9; Ephesians 5:21-33)

God wants you to honor yourself first – after all, He loves you. Why shouldn’t you take vengeance on your enemy?” (Romans 12:17-19)

If you’re poor, Jesus wants you to be rich. Why would it be wrong to steal to feed your family?” (Luke 6:20; Matthew 5:3; 26:11)

The Bible doesn’t really say that abortion is wrong? It’s not a person until it leaves the womb! (Genesis 9:6)

If God loves you, He wouldn’t want you to be sick, would He? This sickness must be of the devil!” (1 Peter 1:7; Romans 8:28)

Why should you forgive that person? After all, you’re important! Teach them a lesson. God will understand.” (Matthew 6:14-15)

Just do what makes you happy. God wants you to be happy.”
(Psalm 1:1-2; John 13:17; James 5:11; 1 Peter 3:14; 4:14)

You need to go along with the crowd – or you’re going to be hurt!” (1 John 2:15-16)

I could continue on and on, but I’ll stop here. Satan will do anything he can to get us to betray our Lord, to become ineffective as members of the Kingdom of God. We need to get back to the Word of God, and actually SEE what GOD has said.

Gird Up Your Loins: Know Your Final Destination

Illustrate: There was a movie that became a series of movies a few years ago called “Final Destination”. In that movie franchise, “Death” was an enemy that stalked people who got away from death. The movie itself was somewhat silly, and gory. Death is not a person that stalks you. In fact, death is NOT your enemy if you belong to God through faith in Christ Jesus.

If You Are Saved By Faith In Christ, Your “Final Destination” Is Not Death, But Life. Heaven Is Your Home!

1 Peter 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,

This world is not my home I’m just a-passing through.
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.
The angels beckon me from Heaven’s open door,
And I can’t feel at home In this world anymore.
Oh Lord, you know I have no Friend like You,
If heaven’s not my home, then Lord, what will I do?
The angels beckon me from Heaven’s open door,
And I can’t feel at home In this world anymore.

Before the Christian is saved, we are “strangers and foreigners” to the Kingdom of God. This world was very much our home, our only destination. Our King was ME, what I wanted. Our Joy was PLEASURE, what felt good. There was no such thing as sin, only SELF ACTUALIZATION and SELF SATISFACTION. We were far off from God.

But then Jesus came.

Ephesians 2:13-19 But now in Christ Jesus ye who {at one time} were far off are made {near to God} by the blood of Christ. 14 For {Jesus} is our peace, Who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us {and God}; … 16 And that {Jesus} might reconcile {us} unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity {by His Cross} … 19 Now therefore you are NO MORE STRANGERS AND FOREIGNERS {to God’s Kingdom}, but fellow citizens with the Saints, and of the household of God

My “final destination” is glory in Heaven. My Lord and
Savior is Jesus Christ!

My King is Jesus, not Social Media.
The Kingdom of God is where I abide and hide.
God is my Constant Companion, my Father, my Brother, my Help.
When I leave this life, it will not be to death, but to glory and life eternal.
Because of Jesus!

The Old Covenant Saints – those of the Old Testament – knew that Messiah was coming. They were saved by believing in the promise of God. These Old Covenant Saints …

Hebrews 11:13, 16 … all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. …. 16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

We who are saved are distinctly different from the world. We follow Jesus, not the latest fad. We are influenced by Jesus, not by some Social Media celebrity.

1 Peter 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

Gird Up Your Loins: You Are Chosen By God

Word Study: When Peter addresses the Christian he calls us Elect, the Greek ἐκλεκτός eklektós, {pronounced ek-lek-tos’}. This word means “the chosen”.

God CHOSE to offer you salvation through the Blood of Jesus.
If you are saved, you CHOSE to receive Jesus.
You are God’s possession, not Satan’s nor man’s.

Just as God the Son chose His Apostles, you are chosen of God. He CHOSE to offer you salvation. God did not CHOOSE to offer salvation to the angels, but unto humanity, unto “whosoever will”. Jesus was often found speaking to sinners, telling them that God was calling them to salvation. To be saved, we must PUT DOWN OUR GODS and follow Jesus. He said:

Matthew 16:24-25 … If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.

Jesus calls whosoever will to salvation. Once called, we must REPENT and follow Him. Jesus and Jesus alone is the means to salvation. Read further:

1 Peter 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

The Christian is a work in progress. God is working on you through abrasion, through pruning, through pain, through time.

Once saved, God the Holy Spirit begins to sanctify you, to set you apart from this world. God works a work in your life, and ongoing work that does not cease until we hit glory in Heaven. What does the Apostle say next? Unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. The Christian follows His Savior. We OBEY our Savior and Lord. Our sins are placed under the blood of Jesus Christ. Because of Jesus, we who are saved belong to God. We continue:

1 Peter 1:3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,

The Christian is “begotten … again” or BORN AGAIN

The first time we were “born” into this world, we were “born of water” (John 3:5). We came out of our mama’s and were “born” into this world, creatures of flesh and blood. Being born into the world, we were born sinners. Sinners cannot walk with God. Jesus said,

John 3:3 (ESV) “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

We who are saved are “Children of God by faith in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26). Because we believed on Jesus, believing he died for our sins – that He paid our penalty before God the Father – the Holy Spirit has caused our New Birth. We have a LIVELY HOPE. Pastor John Piper put it this way:

Our first conscious experience of this new birth is the arising in our hearts of faith in Christ. You might say that the first cry of the newborn Christian infant is the cry of faith. Instead of “waa, waa”, the heart feels “I see Him; He’s beautiful! I love Him, I want Him, I need Him. He’s my Savior!” That’s the cry of the new birth. And Paul says, “No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except in the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:3). So that baby cries, “Jesus is my Lord!” And He says that the evidence of the Holy Spirit coming into our lives is that we cry, “Abba, Father!” (Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6).

You did not make your first birth, nor do you make your second birth. Hearing His call, you must repent, and turn to Jesus. God causes our new birth when we heed His call. You’ve got an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.

Gird Up Your Minds: God WILL Prove & Keep You

1 Peter 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

When Peter speaks of salvation, it is something SECURED by the power of God and KEPT OR MAINTAINED by the power of God THROUGH FAITH. Pastor David Guzik writes:

God’s power is the garrison in which we find our security.” (Hiebert) We are kept by the power of God, but it is through faith, meaning our faith. The person who is kept is a person abiding in a continuing relationship of faith with God. We could say that faith activates the preserving power of God in the life of the Christian.”

The Christian is in a continuing relationship with God, much as a child is in a continuing relationship with a right thinking parent, or as a sheep is in a continuing relationship with a shepherd.

God is always with His Children. The Psalmist David said:

Psalm 23:4 though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, FOR THOU ART WITH ME

God is a God Who is near. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8). God may seem far away at times, but this is probably because of sin in our lives. God is light, and in Him is no darkness (1 John 1:5). Faith forsakes the darkness and calls upon the Light. God delights in saving, in bringing souls into His family. Yet He cannot do so unless there is first REPENTANCE, and CALLING UPON JESUS. God calls ALL to salvation.

Isaiah 55:7 (ESV) let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

Temptations – and our response to them – prove our faith!

1 Peter 1:6-7 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

The Christian is tried by this world. But the Christian so tried, does not succumb to despair or fear. We gird up the loins of our mind. We greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations. Though tried, we know that our God is with us. God allows trials to come upon the Unbeliever to perhaps make them stop and look unto Jesus to be saved. God allows trials to come on the believer to strengthen our faith in God. The fire of trials – much like a silver smith’s oven – tests our faith, showing us that our faith is indeed true and saving. I believe it was Dr. Charles Stanley who said:

An untried faith is an unproven faith”

Peter Was Tried: Before our Lord went to the Cross, He began to tell His disciples that He was going to that terrible tree. Jesus said (Matthew 16:21) “He must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day”. When Peter heard this, he rebuked Jesus, and said it would never be so. Jesus told Peter, Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man” (Matthew 16:23). Peter’s faith would be sorely tried. Peter told Jesus that he would never deny Him, but Jesus told Peter (Matthew 26:34, ESV) This very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.

When Jesus was captured in Gethsemane, Peter followed the soldier and our Lord to where He was tried. Standing close enough to hear what was going on, those in that courtyard began to notice that Peter was one of those who were a constant companion of Jesus. The Scripture says:

Matthew 26:69-75 (ESV) a servant girl came up to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” 70 But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you mean.” 71 And when he went out to the entrance, another servant girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” 72 And again he denied it with an oath: “I do not know the man.” 73 After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you too are one of them, for your accent betrays you.” 74 Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately the rooster crowed. 75 And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.

Peter’s faith was sorely tried. Yet later, after the crucifixion and the resurrection of our Lord, Peter and the other disciples were out fishing. They caught no fish. The Bible tells us that our Lord Jesus called from the shoreline:

John 21:5-7 (ESV) “Children, do you have any fish?” They answered him, “No.” 6 He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish. 7 That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea.

Though Peter denied Jesus three times, when he saw Jesus he ran to the arms of Jesus. Peter had the privilege of sitting at Jesus’ feet, the joy of touching Him in His incarnation. We who are saved love Jesus no less than Peter. Though we may fail Him, we will run back to Him. Life without Jesus is no life at all. As Peter said to Jesus when our Lord asked, “Will you leave Me too?”:

John 6:68 … Lord, to Whom shall we go? Thou hast the Words of Eternal Life.

There is no life without Jesus in your life. Do you know Him? Do you know my Lord? If you do not, today could be the Day of Salvation for you. Jesus Christ died on Calvary for your sins. He made a way for you to reach God and leave the power of Satan and this world. Will you come? Oh, that God would move you, through His Spirit, to call on the Name of the Lord today. Through His Spirit I pray this. Amen and Amen!

Part 2

This morning we began to search out the truths of 1 Peter chapter 1, and in particular to focus on the words:

1 Peter 1:13 Wherefore 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;

Going into battle, the ancient warrior would gather his robes from around his feet. Pulling them upward tightly, he would secure the robes under a broad leather belt. The belt was comprised of two parts – the belt itself, and the buckle that secured the leather in place. Without the belt, the buckle was of no use. Without the buckle, the belt was of no use. Belt and buckle had to work together to be a place where the flowing robes could be bound, so that the fight could go forward. In our text we see:

1 Peter 1:13 Wherefore 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;

Word Study: The phrase be sober is the Greek νήφω nḗphō, {pronounced nay’-fo}. Though this word can mean to avoid alcohol or drugs, it most commonly means “to be careful and watchful, to be diligent”. We are called to keep our eye out for Satan, and to keep looking for ways to honor our Lord and Savior Jesus. The word is used in 2 Timothy 4:5, “Be watching in all things”, in 1 Thessalonians 5:8, “let us who are of the day be watchful, putting on the breastplate of faith and love. Christians are called to keep their spiritual eyes open for Satan and evil. We are to live to honor our Lord and Savior. We are also to hope. We do not have all of our salvation now. We will not receive our glorified bodies until Jesus returns for us. We will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven until we leave these earthly temples, our bodies. The leather belt that we tuck the robes of our lives into is composed of be sober and hope.

When Jesus was casting out demons by the Spirit of God, a woman in the crowd cried out to Jesus,

Blessed is the mother who gave birth to You and nursed You”.

Jesus replied,

Blessed rather are those who hear the Word of God and obey it!” (NIV)

We who are saved in this dispensation are truly blessed. The Prophets looked FORWARD to the Cross and the Christ, and died trusting in His promises. We and the Apostles look BACKWARD at the finished Cross and the triumphant Christ.

1 Peter 1:8-10 Whom {Jesus} having not seen, ye love; in Whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. 10 Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:

I have never seen Jesus face to face. But because the Spirit caused me to be born again, I nonetheless love Him and believe in Him. The prophets foretold of the grace of God that would come through Jesus, but never saw it fulfilled. The prophets heard of the Coming Christ, and searched for the Coming Christ, but lived in a time of anticipation rather than fulfillment.

Gird Up The Loins: We Who Are Saved Are To Be

1 Peter 1:14-16 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.

The prophets and Old Testament Saints could not imagine living as children of God. In fact, the Old Testament Saints were so superstitious over using the name of God, that they usually abbreviated His name, making it unpronounceable. We who are saved live in a new dispensation, a new time, under God’s New Covenant. Nonetheless, if you are saved God tells you to be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. You are to imitate our God. What He considers Holy and Righteous, we are to do. We are to imitate Father, to be like Jesus.

Illustrate: I walked into a discount store on the Nashville Highway the other day, and on the door was a very large sign. On that sign were these words:

Smile, You’re On Camera”

I thought that was amusing. Honest people wouldn’t consider shoplifting. That sign was for the criminal, a nice way of reminding them that you are being watched. Christian, you are being watched. You are not on camera, but you are under the watchful eye of our Heavenly Father. He sees what you are doing, or NOT doing, for the Kingdom.

1 Peter 1:17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:

Illustrate: The little boy loved to shoplift. There was nothing better than getting something for nothing. No, he wasn’t saved, and to him and his friends shoplifting was a game. The child would go in and, looking around, if he saw no one looking, he would get an item on “five finger discount”. One day he pocketed a trinket, walked out of the store, and heard someone shout “Hey, You!”. Though they had no cameras in the store, there was a rounded mirror high up the wall, and someone was watching.

Like that child, many of you think that no one is watching you. You are seeking your own pleasure, whatever makes you happy, even if it violates the Word of God. You grin each time you “get away” with it. My friends, Peter reminds us that Someone is ALWAYS WATCHING, ALWAYS LISTENING, ALWAYS RECORDING what you do. He writes,

pass the time of your sojourning here in fear”.

God is watching you. Our Lord will judge us all one day, not for salvation, but for reward or loss. God sees the grudge you have in your heart toward another. He sees your bad behavior, your lovelessness, your selfishness. God without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work. You are a child of God. Your adoption came at a high price. DO NOT BELIEVE THAT GOD WILL LET YOU “GET AWAY” WITH ANYTHING.

1 Peter 1:18-21 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, 21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

Jesus paid a very high price for your salvation. God saved us so that we could be entered into His family. God saved us so that we could work for His Kingdom on this earth. While we are on this earth, Peter says, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear. Our works will be judged one day. For those who are saved, your works will be judged by the Father as the works of His children. Did you honor the Lord with the life He gave you? If not, you shall lose reward in Heaven. But for those who are lost, without Christ in their lives, their works will be judged for condemnation. Their works will not measure up to an entrance into God’s glory, and thus the unbeliever will be cast into a “Lake of Fire”:

Revelation 20:15 if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Those who have given their lives to God through faith in Jesus need not fear this “lake of fire”. You who are saved are “justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24-27). But if you leave this life without Christ, you have no hope. If your name is not written in God’s Book of Life, you have no hope of Heaven.

Beloved, make your calling and election sure. If you do not have a continuing relationship with God through Jesus Christ, you are not saved. Repent. Turn to Him Who gave His life for you, and believe on Him. Follow God as dear children, walking in love as Christ has also loved us (Ephesians 5:1-2).

1 John 3:10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever does not do righteousness is not of God, neither is he that will not love his brother.

The Scripture is quite clear. Are you saved? Then you will:

  1. DO righteousness (what God says is right)
  2. LOVE (that is, do good toward) your brother

That’s not optional. Those who are “born again” or “born into Christ’s Kingdom” work with God to become more like Jesus every day. We are designed by God to do righteousness. We are designed by God tolove his brother. We are called of God to do good works, to be the light of Christ in a darkened and Satan inspired world. We are not perfect, but we are heading toward perfection. God is working on every one of us whom He has saved.

Gird Up The Loins: We Are To Pursue Biblical Love

1 Peter 1:22-23 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: 23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

As believers in Christ we have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren.

Obedience To God’s Word Is A Recurring Theme In Peter’s Work

When a person receives the Gospel through the preaching of the Word of God and the intervention of the Holy Spirit, that person commits to walking in it. Dr. Bob Utley notes:

The Gospel is (1) A Person to welcome (Jesus Christ),
(2) Truth about that Person to believe, (3) A life like that Person to live”.

We who are saved are called to a life of obedience to Christ (see Luke 6:46). When we obey the Word of God, loving as Christ calls us to love, we not only purify our souls but we bring light to our environment. The heart of the Gospel is to love one another with a pure heart fervently. We are to care for one another, as Jesus cares for us.

We do not imitate the world, but Jesus Christ and God the Father. The Holy Spirit Who indwells us leads us to following Jesus.

John 14:17 (ESV) the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

The Holy Spirit is called the “Spirit of Truth” because He guides us into God’s truths. Jesus said,

John 15:26 (ESV) But when the Helper comes, Whom I will send to you from the Father, the SPIRIT OF TRUTH, Who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness of Me.

The Holy Spirit is called “The Comforter” because He comes alongside of us when we are suffering, and lifts us up. He guides us into all truth (John 16:13), and seals us to the Family of God (Ephesians 1:13). The Holy Spirit teaches us to love one another as Jesus loved us. As believers we are born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. It is the Word of God that gave us life. We believed the Word preached, calling upon the Name of the Lord, and were saved.

Gird Up The Loins: God’s Word Never
Or Becomes Obsolete

The Word of God never grows old. We grow old. Our bodies cease. But the Word of God is timeless, eternal, forever truthful.

1 Peter 1:24-25 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: 25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

This life – and the word of man – is but temporary. Man and mankind is in constant flux, constant change. The fad that, today, all had to have, dies in the winter of our cold hearts. Peter quotes

Isaiah 40:6-8 (ESV) … All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field. 7 The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the Lord blows on it; surely the people are grass. 8 The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God will stand forever.

All that Satan can sell us is the quickly passing fads of this present world. These things do not last. They are here today, and gone tomorrow. If Adam had not listened to Satan’s lies, we would all yet be in that Paradise called Eden. But Adam believed the lie – and Paradise was lost.

Consider Enoch: One of my favorite characters in the Scripture is a man simply named ENOCH. There are TWO ENOCHS in the Bible. The first Enoch is Cain’s son (Genesis 4:17-18). You remember Cain, don’t you? Cain in jealousy killed his brother Abel, committing the first murder recorded in the Scripture. This Enoch was a spoiled child. The Bible says that Cain built a city, and named it after his son Enoch (Genesis 4:17). This Enoch was fleshly, worldly, far from God as was his father Cain. But then there was ANOTHER ENOCH.

The Bible tells us that Adam’s son Seth “began to call upon the Name of the Lord”. Though an ancient line, Seth and his children believed in God, and relied on the promises and presence of God. The Bible tells us that:

Genesis 5:18 (ESV) … Jared had lived 162 years, he fathered Enoch.

Enoch loved God. The Scripture tells us that:

Genesis 5:21-24 (ESV) When Enoch had lived 65 years, he fathered Methuselah. 22 Enoch walked with God after he fathered Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 Thus all the days of Enoch were 365 years. 24 Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.

Enoch walked with God every single day. In the New Testament, Enoch was in the lineage of Christ (see Luke 3:37). The Book of Hebrews tells us,

Hebrews 11:5-6 (ESV) By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

Enoch kept his eyes on the Lord day after day, one day at a time, for 365 years. The word of the Lord endureth for ever. Then one day God took Enoch by the hand, and Enoch was translated into glory. Before Enoch was translated into glory, he upheld and taught the Word of God. We are told in Jude, the last place in Scripture to speak of Enoch:

Jude 14-15 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him

Enoch never compromised his faith, nor shirked the Word of God. He trusted the Word of God. He knew that God is faithful. Enoch was faithful to the faithful God. Beloved, this is what we all should want to be. Let us, like Enoch, remember this life is temporal. Let us walk with God our Savior daily, being led of the Spirit. Let us do so until we are not here, but there.

Oh, how I want to be there with my God. How about you? One Pastor wrote, “This is the difference between the two Enochs. The first lived in rebellion against God, but the second sought to please {God} and obey Him. This is really the difference between the saved and the unsaved today. The relationship that Enoch has with God can be ours too.”. May God the Holy Spirit bless the reading and preaching of His Word. Amen and Amen.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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