Are We Sober-Minded Christians?

1 Peter 1:13-16 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. 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.’”

For those of us who are in Christ Jesus by genuine faith in him, we need to prepare our minds for action. What kind of action? Well, the Christian life is a walk of faith in Jesus Christ whereby we daily die with Christ to sin and to self, and we walk in obedience to his commands in holiness and righteousness in the power of God’s Spirit who now dwells within us.

Also, as followers of Jesus, we are in a spiritual battle against our enemy Satan and all those who work for him or who serve his purposes. So daily we must put on (apply to our lives) the spiritual armor which God has supplied us for fighting off the enemy of our souls, for resisting him so that we can walk in purity of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ (Eph 6:10-20).

And the Lord Jesus didn’t die on that cross just to forgive us our sins so that one day when we die we will go to heaven. Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. And as his followers we are to be sharing the love and grace of Jesus with others. We are to be telling them the truth of the gospel of our salvation.

So, we need to be students of the Scriptures so that we know the truth when Satan throws his lies at us, so we can combat his lies with the truth, and so that we can walk in that truth and resist his lies. But we have to get that truth from the Scriptures and not from other humans who may or may not be telling us the truth. And we must read the Scriptures in their context.

But it is not enough just to know what the Scriptures teach so that we can fight off Satan’s lies. We must be those who are living what the Scriptures teach to those who profess faith in Jesus Christ. We must not be those who are hearers only of The Word, but we must be doers of the word. We must walk in obedience to our Lord’s commands in his power and strength.

We must take God/Jesus at his word, and we must take our walks of faith in him seriously. We can’t have a casual relationship with Jesus. He demands that we deny self and daily die with him to sin and that we follow him in obedience. He is to now be our Lord (owner-master) and we are to be his servants who do his bidding. Our lives are to be pleasing to him.

And setting our hope fully on the grace that will be brought to us when Jesus Christ returns one day is not just about longing for his return or looking forward to our future home with him in heaven where he dwells. It is about walking in that grace while we still live on the earth. And that grace instructs us to say “No!” to sin daily and to say “Yes!” to the Lord and his commands.

While we wait for our Lord’s return we are to be walking in obedience to our Lord’s instructions to us. And we are not to be conformed to fleshly passions and desires as we were before we believed in Jesus Christ. For, Jesus died on that cross to deliver us from our slavery to sin so that we would now be slaves of our Lord Jesus and his righteousness.

Therefore, we are to be holy in all of our conduct (actions, behaviors, thinking, and speaking). And to be holy is to be separate (unlike, different) from the world and the sinful pleasures of this world. We are not to be like the ungodly, but we are to live lives which are committed to walking in righteousness and to no longer making sin our practice.

[Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15; Tit 2:11-14; Rom 12:1-2; Jas 1:22-25; 1 Pet 2:9; Matt 5:13-16; Matt 28:18-20]

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.”

God is going to judge each one of us according to our deeds (our actions, our works), and that includes all of us who profess faith in Jesus Christ. If we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction. But if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life. If we walk according to the Spirit we have life, but if according to our flesh, then death.

In other words, we don’t “get saved” and then heaven is guaranteed us as our eternal destiny regardless of how we live our lives while we are still on this earth. Faith in Jesus Christ is present tense, not just past tense, and our salvation is ongoing and will not be complete until Jesus returns for us, his bride, and he takes us to be with him.

And this is why so much of what is taught about our salvation and eternal life with God is conditional on our obedience to our Lord and to us forsaking our sinful practices. If we walk in the light as he is in the light the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin. If by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh we will live. But if we are walking in sin, in darkness, in deliberate and habitual sin, we will not inherit eternal life with God.

Therefore, we are to conduct our lives on this earth in the fear of God. And to fear God is to treat him with honor, dignity, respect, reverence, and obedience. And it is to take him and his word seriously and to apply it to our daily lives, i.e., it is to walk in the truth. It is to actively be doing what God’s word teaches we must do as his followers, in his power and strength.

For, Jesus Christ died on that cross to deliver us from our bondage to sin so that we would now be slaves of his righteousness. So, we should be living our lives on this earth accordingly. We are no longer to live as we did before we believed in Jesus, if indeed our faith in him is God-given (genuine) faith and not that which is generated from our own sinful flesh (false faith).

For, Jesus shed his blood for us on that cross to buy us back for God (to redeem us) so we would no longer be slaves of sin but so we would now honor God with our lives (with our bodies). And we who profess faith in Jesus Christ are to live our lives on this earth as though we believe that, for our actions are evidence of what we truly believe.

[Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 5:3-6; 1 Co 6:9-10; 19-20; 2 Co 5:10; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 10:26-27; Matt 7:21-23]

Praise You in This Storm

Mark Hall and Bernie Herms

I lift my eyes unto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth
I lift my eyes unto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth

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