1 Peter 1:14

Through Christ we have a new birth and a new identity that gives us a new way in which we are to live. Our speech should be different. Our attitudes should be different. We should live our lives in a manner in which our conduct reflects the holiness of God.

This is why Peter says in verse 14,

“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

The word “holy” means set apart. We are to lives our lives not physically separate from the world but our attitudes and our hearts should be set apart from the things of this world. We are to live our lives set apart from sin.

Peter quotes the Old Testament to remind his audience that these are not his words but they are the very words of God.

Leviticus 11:44-45 says, “For I am the Lord your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy.”

That word consecrate is a word that also means to set yourself apart for something, to give yourself to something. And so God is telling Israel to give themselves to Him and be holy as He is holy. This is the same attitude that God calls us to as Christians. We are to live our lives set apart for purposes and glory of God.

And if we are going to live our lives set apart then it requires we live a very intentional life. It requires that we are not spiritually complacent but spiritually disciplined. It requires we set our minds on the things of God and not on the things of this world.

It requires purposeful action. It requires that we prepare our minds as verse 13 says.

Is that how you would describe your life as a believer in Jesus Christ—one in which you are living with purposeful action. When you look at your life, are you able to say, “I am living my life in a manner in which I am pursuing holiness.”  Because it does not simply happen by being involved in church activities or hanging out with other Christians.

It requires living out the words of Colossians 3:12-15:

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.

1 Peter 1:13

The phrase “prepare your minds for actions” isn’t literally the original phrase here because in Peter’s original words he uses a figure of speech that makes no sense to us in our culture today.

The actual phrase that Peter uses would by literally translated “gird up the loins of your mind.”

During the 1st century both men and women would wear long tunics that would go down to their ankles. This would be the standard dress during that day. And the men would also wear a leather belt or a girdle around their waste to hold money, tools or weapons. And if a man needed the freedom to work, run or fight without this tunic changing down, he would pull up the tunic above their knees and tuck it into the girdle.

This was an act that was known as “girding up your loins.” And it became a figure of speech that one would use to talk about getting ready and being prepared.

In our language today it would be the same as the expression “roll up your sleeves.” It means it is time to get to work. We are about dive in to the task at hand.

When Peter writes in verse 13, “gird up the loins up your mind” his readers would have understood that he was saying, ‘get your minds ready. This is not a time to let your minds be a drift. This is not a time to be turned out. This is a time to stay alert. Because you are preparing yourself for the task at hand.’

And so our modern translations say “prepare your minds for action.”

And so Peter is saying, in light of your identity as believers  in Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:12) you need to be prepared as Christians because have been called to live differently.

Verse 13 continues with the same exhortation as Peter calls us to have a sober mind.

To be sober minded is a Christian who is in full control of his speech and conduct. He doesn’t give in to rage and anger, he is not consumed by lust, he doesn’t give in to the works of the flesh. But his mind his calm and clear for the work at hand. He is able to enter into the work focused.

Have you ever been in that situation in which you were not ready for something. You weren’t ready for that test, or that speech, or whatever task you were preparing for and your mind was just swirling with unrest. It is in those times you get nervous and anxious and you begin to panic. It is not a good place to be in. It is in that place that you begin to move into fear and worry.

But then there is that other place. Those times in life in which you feel ready. You feel prepared to do what you about to do. And you are mentally focused. And there is a calmness in your spirit. In fact, there is often an excitement in your spirit. You are ready and eager to do what you are about to do.

That is the place that Peter is calling us to—a place of readiness of Christians. a place of preparedness of Christians. A place of action as Christians. As we enter into a world that is in opposition to God we are not rattled. As we enter into a world of persecution, we don’t lose our hope. The trials don’t surprise us. Our hope is fixed on Christ and the grace given to us.