1Pe 1:13-16 “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; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”
Peter now begins to give some powerful instruction to us. This instruction comes as a result of the fact that we have received the knowledge of this wonderful salvation in Jesus Christ through the preaching of the gospel. Please note that it is the knowledge of this salvation that is brought to us. Seeing that we have received this gospel, we are to gird up the loins of our mind.
The term “gird up” implies to “gird afresh” (Strong’s). This echoes Paul’s instruction in the Roman letter to “…be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind…” (Rom 12:2). We are being told to approach our service unto God with a fresh attitude. It is significant that Peter uses the expression “gird up.” In Biblical times (and even in some countries today), the manner of dress required the wearing of a girdle (think in terms of a wide belt or sash) around the waist, if one was going to be moving about. The girdle served as a place to carry items (such as money), but also was used to tuck up the tunic (outer garment) so it would not impede the ability to walk about freely (Wright’s Manners and Customs of Bible Lands). The preaching (and hearing) of the gospel should cause us to consider the teachings of Jesus with a fresh attitude. This is going to require us to exercise our mind and heart.
We are going to need to take what we already have (as an outer tunic) and wear it in such a way as to not prevent us from being able to think about the things of Christ with a desire a renewed understanding. Sometimes this will simply be that the joy of what we know comes again as precious and fresh as it was the first time we heard it! However, Peter did not just say to gird up our mind, but to gird up the loins of our mind. Reference to loins in the scripture often refers to the procreative ability. In other words, we are being admonished to take what we already know and gird ourselves with it in such a way that it will not prevent us from learning more about Jesus. In a simple example, have you ever known someone who heard the gospel and was moved to follow Jesus’ example of baptism, but never grew into any depth of discipleship? Their mind set was such that, since they had been baptized, they knew all they needed to know about Jesus and their great salvation. They had not “girded up the loins” of their mind. Failure to gird up the loins of our mind means we will stagnate in our service.
In girding up the loins of our mind, we will learn to be discreet (sober). We will serve our Lord and His children with modesty and humility. To me, lack of these clearly marks those whose “service” to God’s people is only about what they themselves are gaining. We will have a confident expectation (hope) that does not waver. The phrase “to the end” here does not signify the conclusion of something, but rather that our hope will remain steadfast.
So we will have a confident expectation that does not waver, looking for the grace that is to be brought unto us. If a thing is brought to us, we did not go get it. It was carried to us by some agency outside of ourselves. This grace is brought to us by the revelation of Jesus Christ! And where do we get this revelation? Jesus told Peter “Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven” (Mat 16:17). God reveals in our hearts the truth that Jesus is the Christ, the only begotten Son of God! Marvelous grace comes with this revelation. We receive grace to walk as obedient children, being pure (holy) in the mind of Christ.
This holiness, which comes to us by grace, affects every aspect of our lives. The word conversation, as used here, is not about a dialogue between two or more people. Conversation here means our manner of behavior or the way we live. When the grace of God through the revelation of Jesus Christ comes to us, it moves us into a new realm of thinking, of the way we treat others, and of the very desire of our heart.
May we rejoice today in the grace that is brought to us!