"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" (I Peter 1:13).
In our text and the succeeding two verses, five commands are given to the believer striving to live godly lives. Let us look briefly at each one:
"Gird up the loins of your mind": Using the long, flowing robes worn by most in Greek societies as a word picture, Peter commands us to gird up our minds, just as such a robe needed to be gathered up in preparation for strenuous activity. We need to discipline our minds for action.
"Be sober": A drunken person has a disoriented mind, lacks self-control, and is not alert to his surroundings. We are commanded to maintain a calm and thoughtful state of mind, in full control of all our actions.
"Hope to the end," or "patiently fix your hope:" We must recognize that He is in control and patiently wait for Him. The focus of our expectation is His grace, which we presently experience, but which will be fully granted us at His return.
"Not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance" (v.14): This phrase is translated, "be not conformed" in Romans 12:2, and commands us not to adopt the world's lifestyle and thought patterns, especially our "former lusts," which enslaved us before our conversion.
"But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy" (v.15): God is first and foremost a holy God, and we are called to "fashion" ourselves after Him. Complete holiness is out of our reach this side of glory, but it should be our goal.
All five commands are commands, indeed, but commands three and five are in an emphatic position in the Greek, and these two hold the key to success in the others. Only by patiently fixing our hope on Him and His grace can we successfully strive for His holiness. JDM