Call to holy living: Be sober

1_Peter_1-13

The Verse of the Day for January 6, 2016 comes from 1 Peter 1:13 (NLT) offered as “A Call to Holy Living”:

So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world.

Here is the King James Version:

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:

13 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.

Here is verse is graphically illustrated:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2ya8qMJE1Y

The whole idea of living soberly was also mentioned in the recent blog entry for January 3, where the Verse of the Day was taken from Titus 2:11-12 (KJV):

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

The New Living Translation renders the passage thusly:

11 For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. 12 And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God,

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

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

One translation of the Greek word verb for “be sober” renders the term: “to be sober, calm and collected, to have good sense, good judgment, wisdom, and level-headed in times of stress.” Altogether, “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.

Notice that 1 Peter 1:13 also connects the idea of being sober with the hope of the Lord’s return and that is 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. Note the exhortation to “be sober” in light of the Hope:

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.

Listen to this upbeat contemporary cut of “1 Peter 5:8” from Allen Swoope’s album The Zoo, offering another reminder to “be sober.”

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