Lesson 5—Holy Me?
Audio commentary by David Daniel
Scripture: 1 Peter 1:13-16
Lesson Goal: To understand the importance of living holy lives in an unholy world.
In today’s passage, Peter shifts his emphasis from physical trials to spiritual temptations. If the question in the first verses was how do we remain joyful in the midst of troubled times, then the question of these verses is how do we remain pure in the midst of a corrupt society.
(Verse 13) “Therefore”—Every time we see the word “therefore” in Scripture, it is good to discover what it is “there for.” Peter is shifting from a tone of encouragement to that of exhortation. Based upon the facts of verses one through twelve, it is now time to get really serious. In rapid fire succession, Peter gives specific instructions to the believer concerning personal conduct in the world.
“Gird up the loins of your mind”—to bind up, to gather up, to gird up. The word refers to the garments of Peter’s day and how one would quickly and hurriedly gather up the loose robes with a belt before starting on a journey. This was because the long robes would impede physical activity unless tucked under a belt. Today’s equivalent would be to roll up one’s sleeves or to take off one’s jacket. Peter is telling his readers that they must be prepared (see Exodus 12:11).
Peter is stating “prepare your minds for battle” (Brackin paraphrase). One of the greatest points of understanding for the believer is that the war is waged on the battlefield of our minds. Satan no longer can touch the soul of the true believer, so he changes battle strategies. He targets the mind. Peter acknowledges this, and with quick and deliberate instruction tells the believer “be prepared, be ready for this battle.”
“Mind”—this is a call for the readers to be alert and ready in their whole spiritual and mental attitude.
“Be sober”—in the New Testament, the word denotes self-control and clarity of mind. Peter wants his readers to use sound spiritual and mental judgment. There must be no slackness or looseness in the believer’s thought life.
➢ What are some modern day ways the forces of evil use to infiltrate the mind of believers?
➢ How can the believer guard against this infiltration?
➢ As He faced the temptations of Satan, what did Jesus use as His defense?
(See Matthew 4:1-11)
“Rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ”—Peter exhorts believers to “rest” or “fix” their hope on the truth that God will accomplish all that He has promised. Christians are not to have some half-hearted or indecisive kind of hope. The Christian’s hope rests in the promises of a perfectly trustworthy God. Ultimately, Christians rest in two facts—Jesus’ Resurrection and Jesus’ Return.
Our hope rests in this fact “is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” The Greek grammatical construction of this verse indicates the absolute assurance of a future event by referring to it as if it were already occurring. Peter urged his readers to “hope” for it as a present reality and to live their lives in purity and holiness eagerly anticipating His return.
(Verse 14) “as obedient children”—the Scriptures lead us to obedience; the Holy Spirit leads us to obedience; prayer leads us to obedience; fellowship with Christ leads us to obedience; hunger to know Him will lead us to obedience.
“not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance”—key word “former”! God supplies the believer with overcoming strength and grace. This overcoming strength is made available in order that the believer can overcome the lure of the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lies of Satan.
➢ In what areas of your life have you received God’s overcoming power?
➢ What are some areas in your life where you continue to battle for victory to overcome?
➢ As believers we must be wise and alert because yesterday’s victory doesn’t ensure today’s victory. What does this statement mean to you?
(Verses 15-16) Holiness is often misunderstood. Holiness is not assuming a pious attitude and lifestyle; it is not superficial; it is not something we call attention to or parade around in.
“Holiness is to the spiritual life what health is to the physical life” (J. Vernon McGee).
“holy conduct”—behavior, actions, attitude, disposition. Holiness is what the believer strives for in every area of life. This holiness is a reflection of Jesus Christ for all people to see and witness.
You are very familiar with the five physical senses—smell, touch, hearing, taste, and sight. The most practical wisdom is to take these five senses and ask God to make your conduct holy in each of these areas.
Questions for Life Focus
Are you honoring God by what you hear? Do not just think in terms of profanity and obscenities, but what about rumors, gossip, slander and negative accusation of others.
Are you honoring God by what you see and watch? Are your eyes holy?
Are you honoring God by what you taste?
What about the smells that are a part of your life?
Are you using “touch” to honor God? Are your hands “holy hands”?
Holiness would become a natural part of everyday life if, when in doubt, believers would simply ask themselves, “Is this honoring God?” When we surrender the five physical senses to God, holiness becomes a part of our lives. It’s really not that complicated.