Gracefully Truthful

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Discover the original intent of Scripture. Make good application to our everyday lives.
Become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Read His Words Before Ours!

1 Peter 3:13-16

13 Therefore, with your minds ready for action, be sober-minded and set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires of your former ignorance. 15 But as the one who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; 16 for it is written, Be holy, because I am holy.

The Original Intent

1) How does having a mind “ready for action” impact our holiness?

Peter writes this particular letter, “to those chosen, living as exiles dispersed abroad…” (1 Peter 1:1).  His audience consists of believers who have been displaced from their homes due to their faith, and who are thus familiar with hard circumstances and persecution.  In their time of struggle and need, Peter doesn’t tell them to take a break or that their trouble is over; instead, he tells the exiles to live a holy life within the battle.  How are they to do that?  

First, be ready for action.  Peter understands that when God’s people are ready to take action in battle, they will already be on the defensive, looking out for the enemy, and ready to put up a fight.  With the next potential battle as their focus, Peter understands that these disciples will be more likely to resist the schemes of the devil by living lives that are focused on God and His standards for holiness.  

The Everyday Application

2) What does being “sober-minded” have to do with hope and holiness?
Peter follows his call to be prepared for taking action with the direction to be calm in spirit.  He says that not only do we need to be ready to act, but that those actions should be accompanied by a mind that is even-tempered (see Thayer’s definition).  He calls for the people to refrain from overreacting, even in the midst of difficulty and an uncertain future.  Peter knows that if the people of God fail to be sober minded they will be unlikely to come across as holy to the watching world.  Not only that, Peter understands God’s people would risk detracting from the hope others might find in Christ.    

The Original Intent

2) What does being “sober-minded” have to do with hope and holiness?

Peter follows his call to be prepared for taking action with the direction to be calm in spirit.  He says that not only do we need to be ready to act, but that those actions should be accompanied by a mind that is even-tempered (see Thayer’s definition).  He calls for the people to refrain from overreacting, even in the midst of difficulty and an uncertain future.  Peter knows that if the people of God fail to be sober minded they will be unlikely to come across as holy to the watching world.  Not only that, Peter understands God’s people would risk detracting from the hope others might find in Christ.     

The Everyday Application

2) What does being “sober-minded” have to do with hope and holiness?

Cool, calm, collected.  It’s a favorite phrase of mine and a friend.  We tend to use it as a joke, but in the context of this scripture, it’s quite serious.  Why?  Because that’s exactly what being sober minded looks like.  When you consider the application of that truth in your life, ask yourself some hard questions.  

Do you give yourself space to THINK before you react?  Would people look at your social media and be able to call you sober-minded by what they see?  Or would they see someone who speaks before thinking?  Or speaks to provoke and argue?  Or seeks attention for themselves?  Take a sober minded look at your posts during the last battle or difficulty in your life and ask Jesus to help you see what He sees.  Are you attracting others to Christ in your words, or pushing them away?

The Original Intent

3) Why is it important we set our hope on the grace we received in Christ?

Peter’s final admonition to the people is to have the right focus before them: hope in the grace offered through Christ Jesus.  First, Peter desires for the people to have a right view of themselves,  as sinners in need of salvation.  When hope is placed in Christ, Peter understands the people will be less likely to try to save themselves, do enough, or be enough.  Instead, he wants them to know that they can do nothing apart from Christ.  Second, Peter desires for the people to have a right view of Christ:  as the Savior.  Not “a” savior.  Not an option.  THE Savior.  One and only.  Peter grasps the truth that a mind set on the salvation and hope that come from grace through faith in Christ alone offers a much more accurate and appealing image of Christ to others as they watch us navigate difficult times in life.

The Everyday Application

3) Why is it important we set our hope on the grace we received in Christ?

If my focus is on the grace I have received through Christ, I will understand my place as a sinner in need of salvation.  For some of us, there is discomfort in seeing ourselves as sinners.  We want to think we’re better than that.  Or perhaps we are tempted to believe that though we are sinners, we must work to save ourselves.  Neither of those stand up to the truth of scripture that Jesus is the only one who saves sinners like each one of us.  He is the only one who can do that work.  He is our only hope for rescue. 

Are those ideas clear in your mind, or do you sometimes struggle with those truths?  What evidence is there in your life to support your answer?  Do others see and hear you articulate that during the difficult times in your life?  Or do they encounter someone who is constantly striving and working to control or manage life and its difficulties?  Will they see someone who is self-focused, or someone who points them to the hope of Christ? 

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