I 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;
14 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 first word in verse 13 is “wherefore”. This tells us that the following verses are built upon what came before. The saints have been reminded of the special gift of salvation. We have been reminded that God has been merciful and gracious in granting salvation to those who come to Him by faith.
In Bible times men often wore robes. When the soldier was getting ready to go to battle, he needed to gird up, or tighten up the robe around the loins. A long robe flapping around the legs and ankles would hamper movement. They needed to be ready for quick movement that was encumbered by that robe being in the way. They also did not want that robe to be swinging wildly and giving the enemy something to grab hold of to try to bring down the soldier.
In our text, the command is to gird up the loins of your mind. The true child of God cannot have loose things flopping around in his mind. He needs to be properly grounded in his thinking. He needs to get rid of the trash and the unnecessary things.
Paul was directed to remind the saints to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. This is something that we do not do very well. We simply follow traditions, but we seldom seek to determine whether that tradition is actually founded in the Bible, or whether it is a distortion of the Bible.
The next word is “be sober”. If you are saved, you should be aware of the constant attacks of the devil. He hates sound doctrine. He will always seek to challenge what you believe. We have often addressed the New Evangelical mindset. It has been around all of my lifetime. As a young person I did not know it was wrong. I was raised in it. I knew I did not want it, but I did not know what was wrong with it.. The god of New Evangelicalism did not make sense to me. If that was who God was, I was not interested. It took me a number of years to get past that and to listen to the Holy Spirit as He was working on my heart. After I was saved it took more years for me to get into God’s Word and reject the New Evangelical philosophy. I was still in New Evangelicalism and that false philosophy contradicts the Bible. Paul was directed by God to warn Timothy and us:
I Timothy 4:13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
Those who are saved cannot just blindly follow what man says. We need to examine what man says from the Word of God. We also need to be willing to obey what God says. Those who actually follow Peter’s command to gird up the loins of the mind and be sober, will be in the minority. Peter was in the minority. So were the strangers that were scattered in that area.
There is a small booklet called “The Trail of Blood” that is good to read. It comes with a chart to show the development and movement of true Christianity over the years. When you look at that booklet and chart and consider where those groups are today, you find that most fell away over time. When a born again child of God does not follow God’s Word carefully, they pass on a corrupted version of God’s Word to their children and others. Unless the child takes God’s Word seriously, they will go with that corrupted version and will add to it. Once you corrupt the Word of God you remove the blessing from it.
We can read Jesus’ words regarding the 7 churches of the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. He addressed those churches in the first century A.D. Notice the words He has to those churches. Notice the warnings He gave them. Where are those churches today? Where are you at today with regard to God’s Word and where are your loved ones with regard to God’s Word. One thing I have observed is that most families move in the direction of compromise and most parents accept the compromise and redefine Christianity to give acceptance to the compromise.
The true child of God should examine everything he believes and seek to know the roots of it. The true child of God has a hope that is enduring. We are to hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. There is something big and exciting that the true child of God is looking forward to. The true child of God is given a very precious gift at the moment of salvation. The longer the person is saved, the more opportunity there is to appreciate the depths of that gift. The final fulfilment of that gift is at the appearing of Jesus Christ. He is coming back soon.
There are no signs we are looking for with regard to His return. We know it is getting closer every day.
In verse 14 we are reminded that true saints are to be as obedient children. What does obedience look like? Who sets the standard of obedience? Do you? Do I?
God tells us that an obedient child does not fashion himself according to the former lusts in our ignorance. This ignorance is not an excuse for sin. It is a fact that lost people are ignorant of many things. It is also true that saved people are ignorant of important truths. Several times God spoke of giving His children the facts so that they not be ignorant.
This is again why a good church is so important. You cannot overcome ignorance if you are not being properly taught. You cannot overcome ignorance if you limit yourself to being self-taught. It does not matter how spiritual you assume that you are, the devil knows how to play with the mind and heart. We do not need to walk in fear of him. We need to take the right food — the Word of God, fed to us in the right way — through personal reading and study, and corporate reading and study.
In verse 15 we are further told what it looks like to be an obedient child. God is holy. He has called His children to be holy as well. The standard of holiness is God, not man. It is not some traditions of man. It is God. Every thought the true child of God has must be brought into captivity to the truth of God’s Word. Is it actually true?
When we make our pursuit the holiness of God, it will definitely make a difference in all that we do. It will also give a clearer message to the many we are called to testify of the Gospel to. It will ostracize us from many. It is a bridge too far for many, even for many who profess to be saved. Just take the Bible and examine what you hold to based on the Bible. Forget all the other books or traditions. Just look at the holiness of God and look at how you fit with that holiness.
Keep in mind that the joy and rejoicing that the true child of God has is not based on his circumstances. It is based on Who He knows. The joy is an inner joy that affects the outward actions of the true child of God. It is a joy that is there regardless of what man says and does. It is based on the gift of God — His salvation.
Jesus declared that He would build His church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. It is important to be a part of a true local church where you can grow and know the truth. The pastor needs to be walking in holiness in order to be able to direct those God sends his way, in holiness. God’s holiness is not an out-dated idea. It is a present command. It is the way every true child of God needs to walk.