The True Ideal of Life
1 Peter 1:13-16
Why gird up the loins of your mind, be sober…

I. ITS SUBLIME GRANDEUR. The holiness of God. To be holy is to possess, not one virtue or grace, but all virtues. "The moral magnates of the old world," says Luthardt, "are strong in this or that particular virtue;" but they fail to give us the impression that the central point of their being is penetrated and renovated by the spirit of morality, and that we have in this a guarantee that the moral spirit by which they are animated would manifest itself in all aspects as occasion offered. They represent only single virtues: Aristides, justice; Epaminondas, truthfulness; Cimon, liberality; Leonidas, patriotism, etc.; but they do not represent morality itself. Socrates is the model of a noble Greek; but in his last hours he was un feeling to his wife and children. Plato and Aristotle were teachers of wisdom; but their verdict on the sensual errors of their fellow countrymen was more than lenient. Carp was proverbial for his integrity in public life, but was cruel to his slaves; and we might adduce many more such instances. Everywhere we see single virtues; nowhere do we find the spirit of morality filling the whole man." God's character is the totality. God "is light." By a prism we can divide the light of the sun into various coloured rays, each of which is an object of interest and deserves study. But as in the light there is the combination of all these colours, so in the character of God we have the combination of all actual and conceivable virtues. This is our standard, nothing lower. First: Anything lower than this would not suit our nature. We are so constituted that our faculties can never unfold themselves vigorously, fully, without having some grand object ever before us; when that object is reached they collapse, and the soul sinks into dormancy if not death. Secondly: Anything lower than this would damage the universe. The well-being and blessedness of the intelligent creation depends upon every member aiming at the highest holiness, the holiness of God.

II. ITS IMPLIED ATTAINABILITY. No character ever appeared in history so imitable as the character of Christ. He is the most imitable character — First: Who has the most power to command admiration — the admiration of the soul. Secondly: Who is the most transparent in character. Thirdly: Who is the most unalterable in purpose. Therefore follow Him.

(D. Thomas, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: 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;

WEB: Therefore, prepare your minds for action, be sober and set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ—

The Sin of Ignorance
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