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.”
Preparing our Minds for Action
Many professing Christians continually fall back into sin because they do not put this into practice. They are not in the practice of preparing their minds for action. They are not being sober-minded (serious-minded) Christians, but they take their Christianity light-heartedly or casually and with no plan of action. They just let life happen to them as it comes, and so when temptation comes they have no plan of action, and so they cave to the sin.
But we can’t be followers of Christ and just live “by the seat of our pants,” i.e. by following our own instincts to tell us what to do in any given situation rather than following God’s plan for our lives and relying on him and his strength and wisdom. You have probably heard the saying, “If you don’t plan to succeed you plan to fail.” Many people fail time and time again because they have no plan of action to not fail and no plan to succeed.
So, if we want to be true followers of Jesus Christ we have to take our Christianity seriously. Now I am not suggesting that we walk around with grim looks on our faces all the time or that we not enjoy life or that we never laugh. I smile a lot, and I am happy, and I laugh regularly, and I enjoy good humor and I enjoy play time with my grandchildren yet I take God and his word seriously, and my mind is being prepared for action.
So, how do we do this? How should we be preparing our minds for action? How do we become “serious-minded” Christians but still happy and filled with the joy of the Lord? We do this by surrendering our lives over to Jesus Christ, not just once, but daily. This involves daily dying to sin and to self and choosing to follow our Lord in obedience. And we have to be students of the Scriptures who study them in context and who obey our Lord.
If we have an area of weakness where we have previously been trapped in sin, then we have to set up guards against us falling back into that sin. For example, if you were once trapped in sexual sin, you don’t go anywhere near anything that might tempt you to go back to that sin. You can’t “play with fire” and expect “not to get burned.” You know those back doors to sin. Nail them shut! Don’t make them accessible. Set your face like flint (Is 50:7).
Set Your Hope Fully
When we believe in Jesus Christ to be Lord (Owner-Master) and Savior of our lives, we die with Christ to sin, and we are raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin but to God and to his righteousness. For one who has died has been set free from slavery (addiction) to sin (Romans 6:1-23; Ephesians 4:17-32).
Thus, we are to no longer let sin reign in our mortal bodies, to make us obey its passions. For, if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness and to sanctification and to eternal life (Romans 6:1-23). For God condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit (Romans 8:1-14).
Now please pay attention to the language in these verses in relation to our salvation. We are not saved once, done deal, and now we can live our lives, and one day when we die we go to heaven. That is not what the Scriptures teach us. Our faith must be present and active and continuous until the day Jesus returns or until the day we die. And our salvation is not a one-time experience in our lives but it is progressive sanctification which involves us daily dying to sin and to self and us walking in obedience to our Lord.
And our salvation will not be complete until Jesus Christ returns and he takes his bride to be with him for eternity. And we will not be part of that bride if we do not continue in the faith steadfast until the very end, and if we do not walk according to the Spirit in walks of obedience to our Lord. And these aren’t my words. This is what the Scriptures teach, which I will note, and which I recommend that you read. And I recommend that you read the New Testament from beginning to end in context.
For those who live according to the flesh (in practice) set their minds on the things of the flesh, and to set the mind on the flesh is death, not life eternal. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. So, if we live according to the flesh, making sin our practice, and righteousness and obedience to our Lord are not what we practice, we will die in our sins. But if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, then we will live with Christ for eternity (Romans 8:1-14).
[Matt 7:21-23; Jn 8:31-32,51; Jn 14:15-24; Jn 15:1-12; Rom 2:6-8; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Col 1:21-23; 2 Tim 2:10-13; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 5:9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:1-5; 1 Pet 2:24; 2 Pet 1:5-11; 2 Pet 2:20-22; 2 Tim 1:8-9; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,15-17,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10,24; 1 Jn 5:2-3; 2 Jn 1:6; Jas 1:21-25; Eph 4:17-24; Jude 1:1-25; Lu 9:23-26]
1 Peter 1:14-19 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.’ 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.”
Therefore, as obedient children we are to no longer be conformed to the passions of our former ignorance when we were still enslaved to sin. But we are called of God to be his holy people, and to be holy is to be separate (unlike, different) from the world of sin because we are being conformed, by the Spirit, to the likeness of Christ, if we are cooperating with God in his work of grace in our lives. For we are to be holy (unlike the world but being conformed to be like Jesus) in all our conduct, not just in status.
For God is going to judge each one of us according to our deeds (our works). So we should conduct our lives on this earth in the fear of the Lord, in obedience to his commands, in the forsaking of our sins, and in walks of holiness and righteousness. For if sin is what we practice, and if righteousness and obedience to our Lord are not what we practice, we will not inherit eternal life with God. And Jesus will say, “Depart from me you workers of lawlessness! I never knew you!” (Matthew 7:21-23).
[Lu 9:23-26; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 10:26-31; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Jn 15:1-11; Matt 7:21-23; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
The Glory-Land Way
By J. S. Torbett
I’m in the way, the bright and shining way,
I’m in the glory-land way;
Telling the world that Jesus saves today,
Yes, I’m in the glory-land way.
List to the call, the gospel call today,
Get in the glory-land way;
Wand’rers, come home, oh, hasten to obey,
And get in the glory-land way.
Onward I go, rejoicing in His love
I’m in the glory-land way;
Soon I shall see Him in that home above,
Oh I’m in the glory-land way.
I’m in the glory-land way;
I’m in the glory-land way;
Heaven is nearer, and the way groweth clearer,
For I’m in the glory-land way.
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P.S. A good article on “setting your face like flint”: https://www.gotquestions.org/face-like-flint.html