1 Peter 1:13: Be sober

1_Peter_1-13

We begin this day, January 6, 2014, with the Verse of the Day, which is found in 1 Peter 1:13

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;

Amplified Bible (AMP) also offers a powerful rendering of the verse:

So brace up your minds; be sober (circumspect, morally alert); set your hope wholly and unchangeably on the grace (divine favor) that is coming to you when Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is revealed.

The expression “be sober” is generally thought of in terms of “do not be drunk” or “don’t get intoxicated.” Hisgraceoasis.com points out that “the word does not mean to abstain from the use of alcohol but rather to refrain from the abuse of it which leads to intoxication.”

Translated from the Greek word nepso, the verb means “to be sober-minded, watchful, and circumspect.” Variations of the verb include ananephō, translated to become sober; eknephō, meaning “to return to one’s sense from drunkenness, become sober” and nēphálios: sober. One translation of the Greek word renders the term: “to be sober, calm and collected, to have good sense, good judgment, wisdom, and level-headed in times of stress.”

“Be sober” is used eight times in the New Testament:

2 Corinthians 5:13

For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause.

This verse mentions that it doesn’t matter if we are “beside ourselves” or “mad” or “plum out of our minds” or if we are “sober” or “clothed in our right minds” or “of a sound mind”—it is all for the sake of the believers.

We notice that 1 Peter 1:13 connects the idea of being sober with the hope of the Lord’s return which is also the context for two uses of the verb in 1 Thessalonians, whose focal point is the parousia or gathering together at the return of Christ.

1 Thessalonians 5:6

Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

1 Thessalonians 5:8

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.

In addition to 1 Peter 1:13, 1 Peter 5:8 offers a reason for sobriety:

1 Peter 5:8

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Three references in Titus relate to four categories of individuals: “older men, older women, young women, and young men:

Titus 2:2

That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.

Titus 2:4

That they (the aged women) may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,

Verse 3 is directed toward the older women who are instructed to teach the young women to be sober. Clearly, one cannot teach what one does not practice oneself.

Titus 2:6

Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.

To be sober is a strong reminder to everyone, both old and young alike.

The Verse of the Day is but one of eight strong exhortations in the Bible to “be sober.”

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