1 Peter 1:13-16
Why gird up the loins of your mind, be sober…
The great privileges we enjoy are here urged upon us as a reason why we should live like regenerate persons.
I. THE ESSENTIALS OF CHRISTIAN CHARACTER. They are — diligence, sobriety, and hope.
1. Diligence. This virtue is here exemplified by a very striking figure. Christians are not to be like pompous peacocks, mere objects of beauty, strutting about over the green fields of earth. They are not to be languid and effeminate dreamers. They are to engage in the activities of manhood, and for this purpose must brace themselves with vigour. There is much to be accomplished. There is much to be learnt. There is much to be obtained. There is much to be endured. But the apostle is particular to remind us of the spiritual nature of this work - "Gird up the loins of your mind." The Christian life is not an outward thing. The mind is the battlefield. Here the battles are lost or won. How much does the mind require bracing up! It soon sinks into indifference and sluggishness, especially under trials or difficulties. A healthy soul results from moral discipline. We are to brace up our thoughts by wholesome restraint, our desires by a strong curb, our sentiments by calm deliberation. This requires patient and persevering diligence.
2. Sobriety. "Be sober." This does not refer to what we call temperance. It is that calm, quiet dignity which so well befits a Christian man, and which raises him above the flighty, giddy, thoughtless throng of worldly people. There is something noble in his character.
3. Patient hope. Here is a rebuke to the restless uneasiness at the trials of life which was the cause of writing this Epistle.
II. THE GREAT CHRISTIAN MOTIVE. "The grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ." And is it not worth hoping for?
1. Consider its greatness. It is not an earthly blessing — temporary, passing, and mingled with what is evil, sinful, and transitory. It is —
(1) An eternal state. All our chief sorrows here are caused by change.
(2) A perfect state. Life will be perfect; here most men only half live. Health will be perfect. Taste will be perfect. Employment will be perfect. And all the surroundings of this state will be perfect also.
2. Consider its fulness. There is no stint in the eternal life which is provided. The vastness of heaven is one of the mysteries we have to contemplate, but at present cannot understand.
III. THE GREAT END OF CHRISTIAN DEVELOPMENT — holiness. All discipline has one object to carry out.
1. Under the aspect of dutiful children. "As obedient children," etc. Here is a grand motive — the motive of love.
2. Under the aspect of similitude. We desire to be like those whom we love. Holiness, then, makes us like God. Without it we cannot be conformed to Him. Without it we cannot associate with Him.
3. Under the aspect of universality. "In all manner of conversation," i.e., in all your behaviour. Holiness is to pervade all things.
(J. J. S. Bird.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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;