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INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF SUMMARY OF TAKEAWAYS

I ended the earlier blog article with the paragraphs:

Since I have advance warning that difficult times are ahead for evangelical Christians, the logical question becomes: what should a genuine Christ-follower do to prepare himself or herself or what is ahead?   1 Peter 1:13 (NKJV) gives some advice:

13 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

In Part Two of this “Gird Up the Loins of Your Mind” series, I’ll examine what I plan to do in light of what God’s Word says in 1 Peter 1:13 in light of its literary context.

In this article, I look at 1 Peter 1:1-12 and then v. 13.  Before I do that, if you don’t have time to read the whole article, a brief summary of the broader takeaways is below.

First, 24/7, I must keep my mind on the truth that I am saved for eternity with a God-given guarantee that I will spend eternity in Heaven in the very presence of God.

Second, I must clear my mind of all extraneous thoughts to the basic truth of my glorification at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

Third, I must be ready for what’s ahead with excitement and a sense of purpose knowing that my journey is and always be for eternity with God.

FACTORING 1 PETER 1:1-12 INTO 1 PETER 1:13

1 Peter 1:13 (NKJV) reads:

13 Therefore [dia] gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

You will note that this verse begins with the word “therefore”[i] which functions to link up what Peter wrote in vv. 1-12 with the rest of what he wrote vv. 13ff.  Some people say that when you see a “therefore,” you are to find out what it is there for.  Because of the presence of “therefore,” before try to better understand the expression “grid up the loins of your mind” I need to understand the substance of the preceding discussion in 1 Peter 1:1-12.  I need to know the reasoning behind Peter’s call to “grid up the loins of your mind.”  My most pertinent takeaways from vv. 10-12 are set forth below:

• Peter is an Apostle who was a messenger of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The message he wrote was authoritative at the time he wrote this letter and it remains authoritative in the 21st Century.

• Peter wrote to “pilgrims” of the dispora.  I am a pilgrim on this earth since my citizenship is in heaven so I bear a close relationship to his audience.

• I am a part of God’s “elect.”  What a privilege that, by God’s grace alone, God saved me so that I am justified and someday will be glorified.  And through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit I can live a holy life. 

• My hope in Jesus Christ  is a living vibrant hope established by the historical fact of the physical bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

• My hope in my salvation is guaranteed and reserved for me whereby I am kept for it by the power of God and there is no greater power than God’s power.  I will fully realize my salvation, i.e., my glorification, at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

• I greatly rejoice about my future even though my present, short-term future may include difficulties.  In spite of these difficulties, upon testing, the genuineness of my faith will show even though I do not see Jesus at the present time because I will persevere until I see Jesus face-to-face.

• As a 21st Century believer, it is an honor to know Jesus which is something the Old Testament prophets looked for, but did not realize like what I realize today. 

Each one of the above facts comprise the foundation upon which I carry out the following three actions of 1 Peter 1:13: (1) gird the loins of my mind, (2) be sober, and (3) rest my hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to me at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

1 PETER 1:13 ITSELF

What actions does the metaphor “gird up the loins of your mind” comprise? [ii]  One language resource[iii] adds some historical-cultural context to the definition:

a metaphor derived from the practice of the Orientals, who in order to be unimpeded in their movements were accustomed, when starting a journey or engaging in any work, to bind their long flowing garments closely around their bodies and fastened them with a leather belt.

The sense is to get your mind ready for action.  For me, it is a call to stand ready my mental battle station.   Wuest[iv] (the entire relevant quotation is in the end note) writes:

It is not physical exertion that Peter has in mind here, but mental. If the purpose of girding up the clothing was to put out of the way that which would impede the physical progress of an individual, the girding up of the loins of the mind would be the putting out of the mind all that would impede the free action of the mind in connection with the onward progress of the Christian experience, things such as worry, fear, jealousy, hate, unforgiveness, impurity.

Overall, the metaphor “gird up the loins of your mind” means that believers must get the non-essential stuff (e.g., worry, fear, jealousy, hate, unforgiveness, impurity, church bickering, etc.) out of their minds.  The church must be of one mind and be unified.  The church must get ready to fight the battles ahead.

1 Peter 1:13 next told his audience to “be sober” which is the ESV’s translation of the Greek verb nēphontes which means, “to be in control of one’s thought processes and thus not be in danger of irrational thinking—‘to be sober-minded, to be well composed in mind.”[v]  The Little Kittel[vi] defines it:

a. When the word is used figuratively the subject is a person or the human logismós and what is meant is the opposite of every kind of fuzziness. Sober judgment is highly valued in both individual and public life.

To “be sober” means to concentrate with a laser-like focus on the things of God.  As Peter’s third command says, we need to live our present lives with a focus on our final destination for eternity.

Finally, as his third command, Peter wrote that his audience was to, “rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”[vii]  What Peter meant by the expression “upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” is a believer’s glorification and eternal home in heaven upon Jesus’ Second Coming.[viii]

BROADER TAKEAWAYS

My broader takeaways are:

First, 24/7, I must keep my mind on the truth that I am saved for eternity with a God-given guarantee that I will spend eternity in Heaven in the very presence of God.

Second, I must clear my mind of all extraneous thoughts to the basic truth of my glorification at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

Third, I must be ready for what’s ahead with excitement and a sense of purpose knowing that my journey is and always be for eternity with God.

THE NEXT ARTICLE – PART THREE

In the next article (Part Three), I will begin to examine 1 Peter 1:14-21 to better understand how I am to carry out the actions of verse 13.

If you are reading this post and are not a Christian, unless God intervenes, your eternal destination is hell.  But, your destiny can change.  Today can be the day of your salvation.  Please see my blog (https://stevebelsheim.com/2020/04/20/for-god-so-loves-you-2/) for a description of how you can be saved and a more concise description at my (https://stevebelsheim.com/2020/10/20/there-is-hope-even-when-there-seems-to-be-no-hope-2/ ).

NOTICE OF PERMISSIONS

I am mindful of and respect the rights other authors and/or publishers possess in their works.  I thus try my best to not violate any copyright rights other authors and/or publishers possess in their works.  The below copyright permission statement is the result of my best efforts to understand that limited usage or “fair use” is available and/or to secure direct permission for specific works.  The quotations from commentaries are considered to be “fair use.”

Scripture quotations marked “ESV” are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version) copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

Scripture marked “NASB95” are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.”

Scripture marked “NCV” is taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

The Scriptures marked “NET” are quoted are from the NET Bible®  http://netbible.com copyright ©1996, 2019 used with permission from Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. All rights reserved”.

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Scripture marked “GW” is taken from the God’s Word Bible that is a copyrighted work of God’s Word to the Nations. Quotations are used by permission.


[i] The NKJV translates the Greek conjunction dia as “therefore.”  Dia is a “relatively emphatic markers of result, usually denoting the fact that the inference is self-evident—‘therefore, for this reason, for this very reason, so then.’” See Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition., Vol. 1, p. 782). New York: United Bible Societies.  Along this line, dia is a “coordinating conjunction that conveys a deduction, conclusion, summary, or inference to the preceding discussion.” See Heiser, M. S., & Setterholm, V. M. (2013; 2013). Glossary of Morpho-Syntactic Database Terminology. Lexham Press.

[ii] The ESV translates the Greek verb anazōsamenoi as “grid up,” the Greek noun osphyas as “loins” and the Greek noun dianoias as “of … mind.”  These words together mean, “(an idiom, literally ‘to bind up the loins of the mind’) to prepare oneself for learning and thinking—‘to get one’s mind ready for action, to be ready to learn and to think, to be alert.’”  See Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition., Vol. 1, p. 332). New York: United Bible Societies.

[iii] Strong, J. (1995). Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon. Woodside Bible Fellowship.

[iv] The entire quotation reads: writes:

It is not physical exertion that Peter has in mind here, but mental. If the purpose of girding up the clothing was to put out of the way that which would impede the physical progress of an individual, the girding up of the loins of the mind would be the putting out of the mind all that would impede the free action of the mind in connection with the onward progress of the Christian experience, things such as worry, fear, jealousy, hate, unforgiveness, impurity. These things harbored in the mind prevent the Holy Spirit from using the mental faculties of the Christian in the most efficient manner, and thus from causing that believer to grow in the Christian life and make progress in his salvation. The word “to gird up” is in the aorist tense which refers to a past once-for-all act. Bringing this oriental expression over to the occidental manner of thinking, enables us to translate, “Wherefore, having put out of the way, once for all, everything that would impede the free action of your mind.” Peter treats this as a God-expected obligation on the part of the believer. In 1:3 we learned that as the believer definitely subjected himself to the ministry of the Holy Spirit, He would produce in his life through the Word, that Christian optimism that always looks for the best and not for the worst, that always sees the silver lining on every cloud. By the power of the same Holy Spirit, he is able to exert his will in putting out of his mind those things that would impede its free action. Thus, the Christian has the privilege of enjoying the wholesome mental atmosphere called “Christian optimism and a care-free mind,” not a mind devoid of an appreciation of the seriousness of life and its responsibilities, but a mind not crippled and frozen by worry, fear, and their related mental attitudes. Living in this blessed mental state, the believer is ready and able to obey the exhortations to which the apostle now addresses himself.

Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: for the English reader (Vol. 11, pp. 34–35). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

[v] See Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition., Vol. 1, p. 352). New York: United Bible Societies.

[vi] Kittel, G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. (1985). Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (p. 634). Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans.

[vii] The ESV translates the Greek verb elpisate as “rest … hope” and it means. “to look forward with confidence to that which is good and beneficial—‘to hope, to hope for, hope.’”[vii]  The Greek adverb teleiōs is translated as “fully” and it is, “an idiom, literally ‘into end’): a degree of completeness, with the possible implication of purpose or result—‘completely, totally, entirely, wholly.’”  See Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition., Vol. 1, p. 691). New York: United Bible Societies.

[viii] One commentator writes:

The last words in this verse, when Jesus Christ is revealed, point ahead to an undisclosed day in the future when Jesus Christ will come to earth the second time. Christians must not forget the first chapter of our salvation or ignore its final chapter. The first affects the second. The second affects the first. From the outset believers are to live each day for that great final day.

Walls, D., & Anders, M. (1999). I & II Peter, I, II & III John, Jude (Vol. 11, p. 11). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

Another commentator reads:

The main duty, however, is to become conscious of the culmination of our hope when Christ returns (cf. v. 7; 4:3; Titus 2:10–13). When we do this, present trials will not deflect us from obeying God faithfully now. In other words, Peter urged his readers to face their daily trials with a specific attitude clearly and constantly in mind. We should remember that what God will give us soon as a reward for our faithful commitment to Him is worth any sacrifice now (cf. Rom. 8:18).

Constable, T. (2003). Tom Constable’s Expository Notes on the Bible (1 Pe 1:13). Galaxie Software.