1 Peter 1:13-16
Prepare Your Minds for Action
I want to return to our passage from yesterday and go into more detail about the matters which the Apostle discusses. I am intrigued with his first words: “Prepare your minds for action.” We might expect Peter to say, “Set your feet for action,” or “hands” maybe, but “minds”? How does one set one’s mind for action? It is important that we realize that in the Scriptures the mind is not a passive thing but indeed very active. In a real way, the mind is the gate-keeper guarding what enters the heart by discerning situations and approving or disapproving what should be either dwelt or acted upon. The mind is decision-maker, the choice upon which the will acts. Its task is to keep the heart pure and the will from committing sin.
“Prepare your minds for action” is a call for the active participation of the mind to think on those matters that lead to holiness. If the mind dwells on matters of lust, greed, envy, gluttony, and such, then those are the matters upon which one will act. But if the mind instead dwells on matters of godliness (sober-mindedness), then shall the man know peace and security and meditate on matters of the Spirit. I am told that the Greek is literally, “gird the hips of your mind,” suggesting once more that the mind must work, indicating “not the intellectual processes in general, but a mental resolve and preparation” (Peter H. Davids, NICNT, 66). To sum, godliness is first a work of the mind. Did you hear? A work.
And this work of the mind is to “set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” This echoes the Apostle John’s words, “Everyone who thus hopes in him [i.e., his return] purifies himself as he is pure” (1 John 3:3). By keeping our minds fixed on our Lord’s return and the reward of heaven, we keep ourselves from sin. We do not want to be ashamed at his coming; we want to rejoice that we are freed from the sins that so beset us in our prior unregenerate state (1 John 2:28). Meditation on our Lord’s Second Coming is a wonderful bulwark from sin and constant motivation towards greater holiness. We desire more than anything else to slough off “the passions of our former ignorance” and “be holy in all our conduct.”
It is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy” (cf. Leviticus 11:44). As I said yesterday, this is not an option. We are made holy, but we must also become what we are. Our God and Father will have things no other way. And He sent and will send His Son, to gather such a people unto Himself.