Brace up your mind, be sober, set your hope

1-peter-1-13

We begin this day, January 6, 2017, with the Verse of the Day, which is found in 1 Peter 1:13

Amplified Bible Classic Edition 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.

In this section of scriptures labeled “A Call to Holy Living” in the New Living Translation, we find a trio of commands: Brace your minds . . . be sober . . . set your hope.

Brace up your minds:

Jesus Christ uses a similar expression, “Gird up the loins of your mind,” to describe those servants who are waiting for their Lord’s return (Luke 12:35). In the same way that the Israelites were instructed to observe the Passover with their loose outer garments girded up about the waist to be ready for their journey, believers today are to prepare themselves mentally so that nothing impedes their progress. Hensler comments, “The believer is to have his mind (mental powers) collected and always ready for Christ’s coming.”

Be sober (circumspect, morally alert):

The expression “be sober” is generally thought of in terms of “do not be drunk” or “don’t get intoxicated.” His graceoasis.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.” The verb means “to be sober-minded, watchful, and circumspect.”  One translation 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, most notably in 1 Peter 5:8 (AMP):

Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour.

Set your hope wholly and unchangeably. . .

The final exhortation is to “set your hope wholly and unchangeably on the grace (divine favor) that is coming to you when Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is revealed.” Hope has been described as “the expectation of a future good.” The word is used in 1 Peter 1:3, where it is translated “a living or lively hope” while the New Living Translation speaks of “the hope of eternal life” and renders the verse in this way:

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation,

The reference to “grace or divine favor” embodied in Jesus Christ also brings to mind a recent blog entry that spoke of the designation of this year, 2017, as a demonstration of God’s “unlimited goodness and unlimited favor.”

1 Peter 1:13 also 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 a helmet, the hope of salvation.

The Verse of Day provides a resounding, three-part call as to how believers should behave in the midst of these last and evil days:

We close with “In Christ Alone (My Hope is found)” by Phillips, Craig, and Dean.

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