Hope to the End
1 Peter 1:13 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 I read this verse I see clearly three commands. First is gird up the loins of your mind. Second is to be sober, and the last is hope to the end. They are all important but the last which is hope to the end for me is the main point or the primary exhortation. One Bible Expositor wrote, “If Hebrews is the book of faith, and 1 Corinthians or 1 John the books of love, 1 Peter is the book of hope. While suffering is the dominant theme of this epistle, hope is the prominent emphasis. “Today we will be dealing only with a single verse and see what the Holy Spirit wants us to know spiritually.
I. Gird up the loins of your mind.
A. The customary dress during those days were long loose flowing robes even for men.
B. When they wish to run, or to fight, or to apply themselves to any business, they are obliged to bind their garments in a belt around their waist.
C. The meaning is, let your minds be ready and watchful, and be prepared for your spiritual work.
D. Keep your mind away from all thoughts, cares, affections, and lusts, which may entangle, hinder or delay your progress in your Christian life.
1. Do not be so much involved in the affairs of this life that Spiritual life is neglected.
2. Avoid fears, worries and anxieties about uncertain future, or negative thoughts.
E. Ephesians 6:14, tells of “having your loins girt up with truth”
1. In order to prevail in our spiritual battle, we must be strongly girded about with truth, the Word of God and all its counsel (Jn. 17:17, Acts. 20:27).
2. If you are to stand against the father of lies (Jn. 8:44), you must know the Bible.
F. Being “girded about” is also an expression for vigilance for the coming of Christ (Lk. 12:35).
G. As Christians we should be ready to face trials, ready to rejoice, ready to serve, ready to preach (Rom. 1:15), ready to do every good work (Titus 3:1).
We must remove hindrances before we can serve the Lord Jesus Christ. When Olympic athletes prepares for a competition, whether in track and field, swimming, basketball, soccer, rugby, etc., they wear clothes that will not hinder their movements. They do not wear their casual or street clothes, not even their jewelries. We must lay aside every weight (Heb. 12:1-2).
II. Be Sober
A. To be sober is to be temperate and modest in eating, apparel, recreation business, and in the whole of your behavior.
B. “Sobriety” in ancient usage meant not only literal abstinence from drink but also behaving as a non-intoxicated person should, hence with dignified self-control.
C. The N.T. term “sober” means to be in control of one’s mind and life to the end of obeying the Lord in all things.
D. It refers to spiritual alertness and seriousness of purpose; prudence; temperance (1 Thess. 5:6, 8; 1 Pet. 1:13; 5:8).
E. This is to characterize every Christian, from the young to the old (Tit. 2:4, 6, 12). It is a qualification for Christian service (1Tim. 3:2, 11; Tit. 1:8). (David Cloud).
F. God does not want us to be intoxicated with materials things, latest craze, and fashions of this world.
G. To be sober means to be free from every form of “mental” and “spiritual drunkenness.”
H. If girding one’s loins is the state of mind which causes one to be ready to act, keeping sober is the mental condition which enables one to act prudently and with a clear head
Years back in 1975, I remember lots of members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in our place sold their properties and possessions and went up into the mountain because of their belief in the prophecy of their leader about his prediction on the coming millennium. They became spiritually drunk with too much prophecies which turned out to be wrong.
III. Hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ
A. Hope gives the Christian encouragement in the midst of the trials and tribulations of this life because it focuses our affection on the blessings which await us for all eternity.
B. The focus of our hope is the “grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ”
C. The grace that we are talking to is the unmerited favor that we will receive when Jesus comes again!
D. The Word of God lists the hope of Christians:
1. Eternal life is the Christian’s hope (Titus 1:2).
2. Christ’s coming is the Christian’s hope (Titus 2:13).
3. Resurrection is the Christian’s hope (Rom. 8:23-24).
4. The glory of God is the Christian’s hope (Rom. 5:2; Col. 1:27). This is a reference to the splendour and wealth of Christ’s kingdom (Col. 3:4) and also to the moral perfection which we will share at resurrection (1 Jn. 3:1-3).
5. Perfect righteousness is the Christian’s hope (Gal. 5:5).
6. Rich inheritance is the Christian’s hope (Eph. 1:18).
7. To be like Jesus is the Christian’s hope (1Jn. 3:2-3). All of these things are the certain possession of every true Christian. This is our hope
Illustration: Hope Springs Eternal
The English poet Alexander Pope wrote, “Hope springs eternal in the human breast: Man never is, but always to be blest.” But where does man turn when hope dries up?
The director of a medical clinic told of a terminally ill young man who came in for his usual treatment. A new doctor who was on duty said to him casually and cruelly, “You know, don’t you, that you won’t live out the year?”
As the young man left, he stopped by the director’s desk and wept. “That man took away my hope,” he blurted out.
“I guess he did,” replied the director. “Maybe it’s time to find a new one.”
Commenting on this incident, Lewis Smedes wrote, “Is there a hope when hope is taken away? Is there hope when the situation is hopeless? That question leads us to Christian hope, for in the Bible, hope is no longer a passion for the possible. It becomes a passion for the promise.”
Illustration: College Tuition
From Parade magazine comes the story of self-made millionaire Eugene Land, who greatly changed the lives of a sixth-grade class in East Harlem. Mr. Lang had been asked to speak to a class of 59 sixth-graders. What could he say to inspire these students, most of whom would drop out of school? He wondered how he could get these predominantly black and Puerto Rican children even to look at him. Scrapping his notes, he decided to speak to them from his heart.
“Stay in school,” he admonished, “and I’ll help pay the college tuition for every one of you.” At that moment the lives of these students changed. For the first time they had hope. Said one student, “I had something to look forward to, something waiting for me. It was a golden feeling.” Nearly 90 percent of that class went on to graduate from high school.
Indeed we should be prepared and ready to face trials and rejoice even in the midst of suffering. We should have a sober mind to be able to think with a clear head. Most of all in everything we must focus our hope in Christ who is able to fulfill His promises to all who put their trust in Him for eternity. Have you put your hope in Christ? If not yet, now is the time.