"THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER" Fortifying The Focus Of Our Hope (1:13) INTRODUCTION 1. Up to this point in his epistle, Peter has summarized some of the blessings enjoyed by God's "pilgrims"... a. Their election, sanctification, and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus - 1Pe 1:2 b. Their rebirth to a living hope - 1Pe 1:3 c. Their incorruptible inheritance, reserved in heaven - 1Pe 1:4 d. Their being kept by the power of God through faith for the salvation to come - 1Pe 1:5 e. Their great joy, which is inexpressible and full of glory
- 1 Pe 1:6-9 f. The honor of having been served by a distinguished group of individuals - 1Pe 1:10-12 2. Starting with verse 13, we find a series of exhortations... a. These exhortations are based upon the wonderful blessings listed previously (note the connecting word "therefore") b. These exhortations are found throughout much of the rest of the epistle 3. The first exhortation relates to the "hope" that we have as Christians - 1Pe 1:13 a. In which we are charged to "rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ" b. Put another way, we are being charged to "fortify the focus of our hope" c. What this means, and how we are to accomplish it, will be the focus of this lesson [Let's start by first noticing...] I. OUR DUTY TO FORTIFY THE FOCUS OF OUR HOPE A. THAT IS THE PRIMARY EXHORTATION IN THIS PASSAGE... 1. I.e., the words "rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you" is the main point of this verse 2. The other exhortations which precede it are subsidiary 3. And will be considered later B. WHAT IT MEANS TO "REST YOUR HOPE FULLY" 1. It means to "set your hope perfectly, unchangeably, without doubt and despondency" 2. As the NASV puts it: "fix your hope completely on the grace..." 3. Therefore Peter is exhorting us to make our hope one that is complete, strong, and not wavering C. THE CULTIVATION OF A STRONG HOPE IS THEREFORE A CHRISTIAN DUTY... 1. We have a duty to develop and fortify our hope 2. Just as we need to cultivate patience, self-control, etc., so we need to cultivate our hope! 3. For without a hope that is strong... a. Our faith may waver b. We are subject to fear, doubt, and depression 4. Yes, the cultivation (or fortification) of our hope is essential to living joyful and victorious lives as Christians! [This is the main point of verse 13, an exhortation to fortify our hope, to make it stronger. Just as we are to grow in faith and love, so we are to grow in hope! To do this effectively, it is important to give thought to...] II. IDENTIFYING THE FOCUS OF OUR HOPE A. AS DEFINED IN VERSE 13, OUR HOPE IS... 1. The "grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ" 2. I.e., the unmerited favor that we will receive when Jesus comes again! B. AS ALLUDED TO IN THE PRECEDING TWELVE VERSES, OUR HOPE IS... 1. The "inheritance...reserved in heaven for you" - 1Pe 1:4 2. The "salvation ready to be revealed in the last time" - 1 Pe 1:5 3. The "praise, honor, and glory" we shall receive "at the revelation of Jesus Christ" - 1Pe 1:7 4. The "end of your faith--the salvation of your souls" - 1Pe 1:9 C. IN VIEW OF ALL THESE VERSES, THE FOCUS OF OUR HOPE IS TO BE... 1. The coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the wonderful grace He will bring! 2. The wonderful praise, honor, and glory we shall receive when He comes! 3. The complete and final salvation of our souls from sin and its effects! 4. The receiving of our wonderful inheritance, the heavenly city, which is incorruptible, undefiled, and that does not fade away! [Such is to be the focus of our hope. And as stated previously, the main charge in this passage to "rest our hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you" (to fortify the focus of your hope). How we accomplish this is now considered as we examine...] III. WHAT IS NECESSARY TO FORTIFY THE FOCUS OUR HOPE A. "GIRD UP THE LOINS OF YOUR MIND" 1. "gird up" is an oriental expression... a. It refers to the act of gathering up around the waist the long, loose robes warn by those in the east b. Such "gathering up" was necessary or one's progress in running or some other act of exertion would be impeded 2. With the use of this metaphor, Peter is saying... a. We must put out of the mind all things that would impede the free action of the mind in connection with developing our hope b. We must put out of the mind such things like worry, fear, or obsession with material possessions 3. I.e., remove anything and everything that is not conducive to having a strong hope in the coming of our Lord a. Such as carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life - cf. Lk 21:34-35 b. Such things as these "choke" us and hinder our ability to bear fruit (such as the fruit of a strong hope) - cf. Lk 8:14 B. "BE SOBER" 1. The word "sober" means "to be calm and collected in spirit, to be temperate, dispassionate, circumspect" 2. It is that state of mind in which the individual is self- controlled, able to see things without the distortion caused by worry or fear 3. I.e., to fortify the focus of our hope requires a CALM and SERIOUS attention to the task at hand - cf. Lk 21:36 ("Watch therefore, and pray always...") 4. We cannot cultivate and fortify a strong hope if we are so "weak-minded" that we allow things to divert us away from our true calling! CONCLUSION 1. And what is our calling? To sojourn through this life as pilgrims, but with a hope that is resting fully upon the grace we will receive when Christ comes again! 2. The problem with many Christians today is NOT that they have no hope... a. But that their hope is weak and shallow b. And that is because they are preoccupied with the affairs of this temporary life 3. To remain faithful to the Lord, we need to heed Peter's exhortation to fortify the focus of our hope by... a. Freeing our minds of those things which would hinder us b. Being more serious about the kind of lives our Heavenly Father would have us live - cf. Lk 12:35-40 Our next lesson will elaborate upon how God would have us live; but for now, are we living for God at all...?