SOAP Journal – 22 Aug 2016 (1 Peter 1:13)

Therefore, gird up the loins of your minds, be sober, fix your hope completely on the grace which is announced to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 1:13

Any verse that begins with therefore begins with a callback to what has just been said. Peter has, immediately preceding this verse, written that our salvation was spoken of by prophets who wanted to more fully understand the prophecy given them by God and into which angels long to look. So, the instruction given in this morning’s verse is given in light of our salvation.

Because I have been saved, I should gird up the loins of [my] mind. The phrase gird up your loins is often repeated in The Bible, but what does it mean? I once encountered a pictorial reference on how an individual would gird up his loins. It was not only instructive in the event I should ever be wearing a long tunic or robe and need to do some heavy labor, but it also shed some light on what the biblical instruction is all about. To do any sort of hard work in a robe, you must gird up your loins or the robe will get in the way. Girding actually consisted of wrapping and tucking and then securing all of the loose material. Which is a great way to understand what Peter is saying here. In light of my salvation, I should wrap up, tuck away, and secure all the loose thoughts in my mind. I have an abundance of errant thoughts, and this instruction tells me that I need to get those thoughts under control. Paul said the same thing to the Corinthian believers when he told them to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

Because I have been saved, I should be sober. This thought comprises more than merely not being drunk. If that were the full extent of sobriety, then many of us would have this down. But sobriety in the biblical sense meant something more akin to not behaving in the manner of a drunken person. A drunk stumbles around, knocking things over, causing disruption, and generally making a nuisance of himself. He is objectionable to be around by his behavior as well as by his hygiene (or lack thereof) and his emotional instability. To be sober, as The Bible understands it, is to be careful of myself with regard to my behavior and emotional stability. The first instruction was to get my mind under control. This is instruction to get my emotions and my behavior under control as well.

Because I have been saved, I should fix [my] hope completely on the grace which is announced to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. There is a song that says, “My hope is built on nothing less / than Jesus’ blood and righteousness”. That is precisely correct. In light of my salvation — Who saves me and how He does it — I should fix my hope completely on His grace. This is, I think, the natural progression forward from the previous two instructions. I must discipline my mind and my emotions and my behavior and I must remember that there is grace for the times when I fail. And Peter, the man who penned these words, knew a thing or two about God’s grace.

Father, thank You for Your grace that covers my failures. Please help me to discipline my mind and to have control over my emotions and actions, that I might, as the later verses instruct, be holy as You are holy.

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