1 Peter 1:13 ESV
“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.”
How do we prepare our minds for action? What kind of action? This is kind of like getting ready for a hurricane to hit. We know it’s coming, and it’s coming fast, and there isn’t much time to waste. We have to be quick. We have to be diligent, and we have to get moving now!
We must purchase boards to board up our windows to protect them from breakage, and we must put bags of sand down to prevent flooding, and we must buy supplies to last us for a while in case, after the storm hits, supplies are difficult to come by.
Only we do this with our minds. We take seriously all the storms of life which we know are going to come against our minds and that are going to try to break us down and destroy us. So, we get prepared for this in advance so when the storms (temptations and trials) come, we do not falter.
So, we remove from our eyes and ears all that is going to leave us vulnerable to temptation and which we know is opposed to the Spirit of God, and all that is of our sinful flesh. And we put a guard over our eyes and minds so that we don’t leave any place for the devil to tempt us.
But we don’t just do what is necessary to prevent us from getting hit by the devil, but we fill our minds with good things of the Spirit of God. We bathe our minds in the Scriptures and in biblical messages and songs, and we are continuous in prayer and in obedience to our Lord and to his will.
For, setting our hope fully on the grace that will be brought to us when Christ returns for us, his bride, isn’t just about looking forward to our Lord’s return. But it is setting our hope in Christ in the here and now which will culminate in us going to be with Christ when he comes back for us.
And if our hope truly is in him, and he is our life, then we will be serious-minded about following him in obedience to his commands. And our minds will be set on things above and not on things on this earth. Our focus will be in living holy lives, pleasing to him, and not on the sinful pleasures of this world.
1 Peter 1:14-16 ESV
“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’”
If you are being told that obedience to the Lord is works-based salvation, and thus it is no longer required, do a word search on “obey” and its derivatives in the New Testament, and you will find that to be a lie. We are commanded all throughout the New Testament to obey our Lord.
In fact, to love God is to obey him, and if we don’t obey him, we don’t love him, and if we don’t love him, then we are not really His (Jn 14:23-24; Rom 6:16; Heb 5:9; 1 Pet 1:2; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:24).
So, as those who are genuinely in Christ by God’s grace, through God-given faith in Jesus Christ, we are commanded to obey our Lord. And if we are truly his, we will want to obey him. We will want to do what pleases him. We will desire to be in the center of his will doing what he has called us to do.
And since Jesus Christ died on that cross to deliver us out of our slavery to sin so that we could now live to him and to his righteousness, and since we died with Christ to sin when we were born again of the Spirit of God, sin should no longer be our master, but Jesus should be our only Lord.
So, our lives should no longer be conformed to the passions of our former ignorance. But since we still live in flesh bodies, and since our flesh is at war with the Spirit, and we are still tempted to sin, we need these reminders to stir our minds and our hearts to right thinking and right responding.
So, this means that none of us should be living in slavery (addiction) to sin. We should not be those who make sin our practice. We should not be habitually engaged in sexual immorality, gossip, slander, lying, cheating, stealing, drunkenness and all other forms of self-indulgence.
But now we should be living lives which are separate (unlike, different) from the world of sin and separate unto God and to his service. Our conduct (in lifestyle) should be that which is pleasing to God, which honors him, which obeys him, and which is moral, pure, upright, honest, and faithful.
1 Peter 1:17-19 ESV
“And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.”
We need to know here that we are going to be judged by our deeds. If we make sin our practice, we will die in our sins. We will not inherit eternal life with God. For, whatever we sow, that is what we will reap. And God will render to each one according to his works (Rom 2:6-8; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; 2 Co 5:10; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; etc.).
And this is why we must conduct our lives with fear (respect for God). Far too many people are taking God’s grace for granted, and they are believing lies which tell them that once they believe that how they live no longer matters to God. So, they don’t take God and his word seriously.
But if we don’t take God and his word seriously, and if we have this idea that now that we are “saved,” that heaven is guaranteed us no matter how we live, then we don’t really know God. We don’t really believe in Jesus, but only in a concept of Jesus being taught by men in their deceitful scheming.
So, we better get into the Scriptures and see what they teach, because many people are going to stand before God one day, thinking that he is going to bless them with eternal life in heaven, only to hear, “Depart from me you workers of iniquity! I never knew you!”
God is not someone to be trifled with, so take him seriously. Walk in the fear of the Lord, in honor, respect, worship and obedience to the Lord. Walk in purity of devotion to him and don’t play with sin. For Jesus ransomed us from sin by his blood shed on the cross. He redeemed us so that we would now honor God with our lives.
So, study the Scriptures. Test everything you hear and read and think you see against the word of God (in context), in prayer, and under the discernment of the Spirit of God. Commit your lives to Jesus Christ. Follow him in obedience. Leave your lives of sin behind you. You will be blessed!
Jesus Draw Me Ever Nearer
Lyrics by Margaret Becker
Music by Keith Getty
Jesus guide me through the tempest;
Keep my spirit staid and sure.
When the midnight meets the morning,
Let me love You even more.
May this journey bring a blessing,
May I rise on wings of faith;
And at the end of my heart’s testing,
With Your likeness let me wake.
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