Our Hope Is In His Grace - Part 1

Bible Book: 1 Peter  13 : 16
Subject: Grace; Hope; Christian Living
Introduction

1 Peter 1:13-16

In the first section of this chapter, Peter emphasized walking in hope, but now his emphasis is walking in holiness. The two go together, for "everyone that has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure" (1 John 3:3). Peter reminds these Asia Minor Christians of the immeasurable gift of salvation which God had provided. However, an irresponsible receiver of gifts will not long glory in the gift. God's gift of salvation comes through free grace. Once a person decides to accept the gift, they must assent to the responsibilities that come with heir ship. The Apostle Peter places the major challenge of holiness in the context of our Hope. The hope of the Christian is in "the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ." (13) The return of Christ should have a threefold effect on the believer:

It should constrain them to obey God. (13) Philippians 2:12-13, "Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure."


To forsake sin.

(14) Romans 12:2, "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."

To be holy.

(15) The Christian conduct is marked by a turning or a change which takes one in an upward direction. Peter draws a clear picture of the fact that with my salvation there comes a great privilege coupled with great responsibility.

I. The Exhortation Of Grace 13

"therefore" - forms a bridge to all that Peter has written previously, in light of what you have been taught. Because God has done this for us, God expects certain things from us." Remember, the people were suffering persecution and yet piety should be revealed in their lives even in the midst of suffering. How? Christians live in the future tense, their present actions and decisions are governed by this future hope. Just as an engaged couple makes all their plans in the light of that future wedding, so Christians today live with the expectation of seeing Jesus Christ. EXHORTATION DEALS WITH:

A. Hindrances 13a

"gird up the loins of your mind" - image of a robed man, tucking his skirt under the belt, so he can be free to run or work. Dealing with his encumbrances and that which hinders his progress. Pictures a disciplined mind. Holiness begins with proper preparation of our minds. The middle voice verb reminds us to take the initiative in preparing our minds. mind" - translates understanding; comes from two words through and mind; to think through. The ability to make proper judgment of the present based on the past and the future hope. Proverbs 23:7, "For as he thinks in his heart, so is  he. 'Eat and drink!' he says to you, but his heart is not with you." Outlook determines outcome; attitude determines action. A Christian who is looking for the glory of God has a greater motivation for   present obedience than a Christian who ignores the Lord's return.

Illustrate: Abraham had his eyes of faith on that heavenly city - Lot had tasted the pleasures of the world in Egypt. Abraham brought blessing to his home - Lot brought judgment. Behavioral scientists have discovered that human behavior is determined to a great extent by the subconscious mind. The computer vocabulary graphically describes the potential of human behavior, "Garbage in - garbage out!" Holy living begins with our minds.

Great Truth: Pull in all the loose ends of one's thought process by rejecting the hindrances of the world and focusing on the future grace of God. Ephesians 6:14, "Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth." Colossians 3:2, "Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth."

B. Helps 13b

"be sober" - word has a double meaning, not only freedom from intoxication with wine, but also freedom from all effect of wine. It is urging spiritual sobriety; a Spirit-controlled mind. The idea of steadfastness, clarity of mind, and moral decisiveness. The sober Christian is correctly in charge of his priorities and not intoxicated with the various allurements of the world. Be steady in their minds; intoxicating thoughts; must preserve a balanced judgment. It is easy for Christians to be easily carried away with this, that, or the next sudden enthusiasm and to become readily intoxicated with the latest fashion and the newest craze.

C. Hope 13c

"rest your hope fully" - in light of their great salvation, Christians, especially those undergoing suffering, should unreservedly live for the future, anticipating the consummation of their salvation at the second coming of Christ. (7) "hope" - because he lives in hope he can endure the trials of the present. Any man can endure struggles and effort and toil, if he is certain that it is all leading somewhere. Here hope is not in a person but in an object. The object is grace (salvation, inheritance). "Life with Christ is an endless hope, without Him a hopeless end." Peter says, "the grace that is to be brought to you." -in the sense that it is already on the way. Grace is the gift of salvation.

Three Truths About Grace:

1. Salvation/Justification. Saved from the Penalty of sin.
2. Sanctification. Saved from the Power of sin.
3. Glorification. Saved from the Presence of sin.

"at the revelation of Jesus Christ" - when Jesus returns at the appointed time, He will bring to His followers the fulfillment of their salvation. He grants us full salvation through deliverance from sin, glorification of body and soul, and the knowledge that He will be in our midst forever. Ephesians 2:7, "that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus."

II. The Admonition of Grace 14

Grace not only encourages us, it warns us. The Apostle moves us from what we believe, to how we are to behave.

A. As to Conduct 14a

"as obedient children" - children inherit the nature of their parents. God is holy, therefore, as His children we should live holy lives. We are partakers of the divine nature. 2 Peter 1:4, "by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." True salvation results in obedience. Romans 1:5, "Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name." 1 Peter 1:2, "elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied." God's nature always impels to the acts of obedience. The order of the words in Greek (children of submissiveness) indicates that the attitude of obedience should be a characteristic of God's children.

B. As to Conforming 14b

"not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance." "conforming" - fashioning; refers to the act of assuming an outward appearance patterned after some certain thing, an appearance or expression which does not come from and is not representative of one's inmost and true nature. It refers here to the act of a child of God assuming as an outward expression of the habits, mannerisms, dress, speech, expressions, and behavior of the world out from which God saved them. Thus, not giving a true expression of what he is, a cleansed, regenerated child of God; but, instead, hiding the Lord Jesus who should be seen in the life of the Christian. It is the believer masquerading in the costume of the world. (Same word used in Romans 12:2)

The believer's life has been changed by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit; therefore, there should be a corresponding outward change in daily practice. "former lusts" - pre-salvation lusts are still there and that he does not want them to live like they lived before salvation. "as in your  ignorance" - unsaved people lack spiritual intelligence. Ephesians 4:17-19, "This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you would no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardening of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness." Since we were born with a fallen nature, it was natural for us to live sinful lives. Nature determines appetites and actions.

Conclusion

The pagan world was always haunted by the unknowability of God. "It is hard," said Plato, "to investigate and to find the framer and the father of the universe; and, if one did find him, it would be impossible to express him in terms which all could understand." Aristotle spoke of God as the supreme cause, by all men dreamed of and by no man known. The ancient world did not doubt that there was a God, or gods, but it believed that such gods as there were, they were quite unknowable and totally uninterested in man and the universe. There was no one to whom man could raise their hands for help or their eyes for hope.