BECAUSE WE ARE PILGRIMS WHO ARE GREATLY BLESSED, LET US PERSEVERE IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES
Series: First Peter, Sermon #13
TEXT: I Pet. 1:13-16
INTRO: Need we be reminded again that Peter is writing to Pilgrims. And, in its immediate application, it is directed to Pilgrims who are going through some terrible trials.
But, Peter has reminded them, also, that they are Pilgrims who have been especially blessed. They Were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world, redeemed by the sprinkling of the blood of Christ, begotten to a living hope by the resurrection of Christ, predestined to an incorruptible, undefiled, unfading reserved inheritance for which they are kept by the power of God through graciously given faith. They are presently saved, being saved and there is more of their salvation which is ready to be revealed in the future.
They are even reminded that this trial and tribulation through which they are going is designed to remove the dross from their lives and they should look upon their trial as more precious than gold. He reminds them that this wonderful salvation of which they have been made partakers is a salvation that was enquired into by the prophets and a salvation into which angels desire to look.
In view of all these blessings, Peter now calls on them to gird up their minds, to be sober, and perseveringly rest in their hope that is brought to them through the revelation of Jesus Christ. He calls on them to be obedient children of God, who, rather than fashioning themselves according to their old life, pursue holiness in all their ways because God is holy.
PILGRIMS MUST POSSESS STRENGTH OF MIND WHEN ENDURING TRIALS
Peter calls on them to gird up the loins of their mind. 1 Peter 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind.
Girding the loins was essential to travel when everyone wore robes and since they are merely Pilgrims they need to live with a girded mind, a disciplined mind. Exodus 12:11 And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD'S passover. 1 Kings 18:46 And the hand of the LORD was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel. 2 Kings 4:29 Then he said to Gehazi, Gird up thy loins, and take my staff in thine hand, and go thy way: if thou meet any man, salute him not; and if any salute thee, answer him not again: and lay my staff upon the face of the child.
Girding the loins of the mind also suggests stable mindedness.
God called upon Job to gird up his loins and get ready to answer some questions. Job 38:3 Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. Job 40:7 Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.
Jeremiah was told to gird up his loins when he was getting ready to speak to Israel for he must no waver. Jeremiah 1:17 Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them.
This idea of strength of mind was evident in Pauls admonition to the members of the assembly at Ephesus. Ephesians 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness.
PILGRIMS MUST ALSO BE SOBER MINDED
Some folks are inebriated with the cares of this life and these distract from their service for the Lord.
Some let the cares of this world choke their growth as Christians.
This intoxication with worldly care may reveal that one is not even saved, but is a mere professor. Mark 4:19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
Martha experienced this lack of soberness. Luke 10:41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things.
John Gill said something on this matter almost two hundred years ago that is so applicable today. He said that some become "intoxicated with errors, and false doctrine . . . and turn their head from faith to fables . . . ."
This intoxication with the sensational, the novel, the latest thing in religious activity is behind the Promise Keepers and other para-church organizations.
Three times in this epistle Peter calls on these folks to be sober.
Here in our text he calls on them to be sober in the face of suffering. 1 Peter 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober.
He calls on them again to be sober in light of the coming end of this present age. 1 Peter 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
Again he calls on them to be sober in light of the wickedness of the Devil. 1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.
Paul called for soberness on the part of the Thessalonians Christians. 1 Thessalonians 5:6-8 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. 7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
One of the qualifications of a pastor is that he be a sober-minded person. 1 Timothy 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach.
Soberness is a virtue that should be found in all those professing to know Jesus Christ.
Older Christian men are to be sober-minded. Titus 2:2 That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.
The older women are to be sober so that they may teach the younger women to be the same. Titus 2:3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
Young men are also exhorted to be sober-minded. Titus 2:6 Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.
PILGRIMS ARE TO BE AN EXPECTANT PEOPLE 1 Peter 1:13 "and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
This involves remaining confident in the promises of God. Hebrews 10:35-37 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. 36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. 37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.
The anticipation of the fulfillment of the great and wonderful hope we have in Christ will greatly help to fortify us for godly living in spite of persecution. 1 John 3:1-3 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
We can rest assured in Christ that our hope is sure and stedfast. Hebrews 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
We can remain confident in this hope when we consider who it is that is coming to bring it to fruition. Titus 2:12-14 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
We are to rest in this hope with the assurance that Christ is coming. 2 Thessalonians 1:4-10 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: 5 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: 6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; 7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.
Our hope in Christ is one that will never make us ashamed. Romans 5:3-5 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
Our hope in Christ has been put to the test by saints in days gone by so it is a proven hope. Psalm 22:4-5 Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them. 5 They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.
Those of us who have our hope in Christ should be a very happy people. Jeremiah 17:7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.
Because his hope was in Jesus Christ Paul was confident he would never be ashamed. Philippians 1:20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.
Since we have this hope through grace, there is no danger of loosing it. 2 Thessalonians 2:16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace.
CONC: True faith and assured hope will enable us to endure the things we must endure as pilgrims. Though we are pilgrims who have been truly blessed we must also endure some tribulations along the way. Therefore, we must be careful to not let the trials of this life distract us from the blessed benefits of the grace of God in Christ Jesus.
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