We all had role models growing up.
It may have been:
- mom or dad,
- our favorite uncle or aunt,
- a teacher,
- Famous person
There was somebody we wanted to be just like.
If I could be anybody in the world, I wanted to be that person.
I wanted to be an intelligence officer.
I read of men who went into Afghanistan before American forces invaded, with the purpose of gathering intelligence against Al Qaeda.
For me, that was my dream job.
So naturally, I began to read, even in High school, everything I could find on the intelligence community.
Who were they and how did they become intelligence analysts.
My goal, to mirror their career path so I could become what I dreamed of being.
It was to that end and that goal, that lead me to the Navy.
The Navy gave me a job doing more or less, what I always wanted to do.
Many of us had role models that we longed to be like.
Many of those role models deserved some recognition for being role models.
Yet, none of them compare to the model of God.
We ought mirror our God.
As believers, we should strive to study who he is, so that we can be like him.
Not in the sense that we can ever aspire to be God, but to mirror his character.
His character of love, mercy, grace, >>>>>>pause>>>>>>and Holiness.
Peter commends us to mirror God’s Holiness in our text this morning.
Based on this passage,
Proposition: We ought to mirror God’s purity.
Transition: and Peter gives us 3 mindsets for how to do that.
1) By Preparing for Obedience (1 Peter 1:13a)
Why do we need to prepare for obedience?
Why do we need to prepare for obedience?
Probably the most direct reason is because our flesh is powerful and easily can overcome what we know is right.
It is not simply enough to know what is right, but we must have the resolve to actually do what we know is right.
Many times we fall into sin because we are ill-prepared for the power of our lust for sin.
I have meet a few people trapped in their sin as many of you probably have also.
Many times they know what is right, but they are unable to resist the temptation.
I remember one person who who exclaimed in frustration that they “knew it was wrong, but before they knew what happened they had already commited the sin”.
This was because they knew what was right, but they were not prepared to resist temptation.
So how do we prepare to resist temptation?
a) Setting your mind to obey.
The ESV translates this passage “preparing your minds for action”.
This is a great translation of what the text means, but what does the text actually say.
In a footnote, the ESV includes the actual translation: “Therefore, girding up the loins of your mind”
In Peter’s day, “girding up the loins of your mind” was a common phrase.
In literal terms, it is meant to pull up long garments in order to work or go to battle.
However, it also was a phrase that was often used to describe being serious or prepared to act.
But notice what we are preparing according to the text, our mind.
Understand the importance of our mind and obedience.
If we want to Obey God, it starts with our mind.
So how do we prepare our mind?
How do we prepare our mind for obedience?
Preparation for obedience is primarily in renewing our mind with God and the gospel.
What we know and what we believe matters.
When someone goes into the military, there is one aspect they don’t expect.
The constant training and practice that goes into it.
You spend over half your military career practicing.
Because they are trying to make them perform their jobs like it is the most natural thing to do.
Whether we are talking about how to clear a room of enemy targets or the procedures for sending time sensitive emergency messages.
In my first command, I spent:
first 6 months in school.
After a month on a ship, I spent an additional months in further school.
This does not count about 12 one week classes and multiple qualifications.
In my second command,
I went to another 3 month school
Logged over 700 hours in additional training over 4 years.
And completed another set of numerous qualifications.
Why so much training.
They want it to come as 2nd nature.
To obey God, we also must develop muscle memory so that what is right is 2nd nature.
Therefore, the best method of preparation for obedience is to renew our mind.
That is, to mediate on God and the Gospel, until it’s truths become 2nd nature reality to us.
To mirror God’s purity we must prepare our minds to do that which right.
Our text gives us a 2nd aspect for preparing for obedience,
b) Having Self-Control
Many translations use the word “sober”.
The word can equally be translated “self-control”.
This is how the NLT translates this word.
The text says that we ought to be “fully self-controlled”.
How did this relate to obedience?
What does self-control (Sober minded) have to do with obedience?
The Christian life is characterized by self-control as opposed to being driven by the whims of our passions.
Preparation for obedience is characterized by a preparation for self-control.
It is choosing obedient living in spite of strong sinful desires - it is having self-control.
If we are not commited to self-control of our flesh, we will not be prepared to obey.
Most Christians live far away from the effect of drug usage.
But if you have known somebody who tried to go off drugs, it is one of the most difficult things you can go through.
The power of desire is overwhelming and makes the person desperate.
In the same way,
Any sin can become an addiction.
The desire for that which is wrong is a powerful force which can easily conquer us.
The point I want to make from Paul’s confession is this, the desire for sin can easily overwhelm someone.
We all struggle with the power and force of sin.
If allowed, it can completely control us.
Therefore, we need to resolve ourselves to practice self-control.
Self-control to obey God rather than being controlled by the desires of our flesh.