It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, means God the Holy Spirit was giving information to the human spirit of the prophets regarding things that would occur in the future, namely the suffering and glory of Jesus Christ. Therefore, it was to the benefit of those to whom Peter was writing to understand this doctrinal information. This information is the Gospel. Remember that the Gospel is more than the death of Christ. The Gospel is the entire doctrine of Soteriology (the doctrine of salvation) and Christology (the doctrine of Christ).
These doctrines are so important that even the angels desire to know about them. Soteriology and Christology are the doctrines that resolve the Angelic Conflict because they are both about the Person and the work of Jesus Christ in winning the strategic victory over Satan and the fallen angels. Hence the great desire of angels to know and understand the salvation solution given to mankind by God, which resolves a conflict that they were involved with in eternity past.
“Therefore gird up the loins of your mind (KJV).” The mind does not have loins but the girding up of the loins is an ancient custom. It is like preparing the decks for action in naval warfare. Gird up is the Greek word “anazonnumi,” which means to be ready for action. This particular verb occurs only here in the New Testament although it is used elsewhere in Greek languages. In the ancient world if you were going to run and you were wearing a robe it was a little difficult. So obviously you had to do something with the robe. Everyone wore a rather heavy belt and so they took the end of the robe and tucked it into the belt for running. So this means an action type verb then: preparation for action, preparation for production. And the loins here refer to the physiological parts of the anatomy which were used in running where the power and the strength came from.
Associating this analogy with the mind indicates the production that comes from thinking. The word mind is the Greek word “dianoia.” “Dia” means through and “noia” means to think and so it means to think through and it means the thoughts that influence you. Everyone has thoughts which influence them. This is a command to have the correct mental attitude and it is followed by another command, “keep sober,” which really doesn’t mean to be sober. It means to have stability and orientation of mental attitude. This stability and orientation comes from the intake of doctrine, the storage of doctrine and the application of doctrine.
Fix your hope completely on the grace. The word hope is the Greek word “elpizo” meaning to have confidence. Whenever we start learning Bible doctrine it becomes revelation. The word revelation simply means enlightenment and this should be translated “by means of enlightenment,” which is the function of intake of accurate doctrine. The revelation is doctrine related to Jesus Christ. The result of taking in doctrine is the confidence, the peace, the blessing that comes to you as a believer. So we now have the true process of sanctification. Sanctification is instantaneous at the point of salvation; sanctification is a process in time; sanctification is completed in phase three with the resurrection body.
In order to accomplish the above process there has to be obedience. So in verse 14 we have literally: “As obedient children.” Do not be comformed uses the Greek word “suschematizo,” which means not to be formed into a mold. It is very easy to form into some mold if you continue in life “according to the former lusts of your ignorance.” Lusts relate the thinking to the sin nature. Lust is the motivator for people in ignorance, either an unbeliever or a believer who doesn’t know doctrine. For example some people will work themselves almost to death for approbation lust [to get someone to tell them how great they are]. There is also power lust [throwing one’s weight around], materialism lust [slavery to the details of life], lasciviousness [lust for human love]. Therefore, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit Peter is telling us that our greatest enemy is ignorance of Bible doctrine.
God the Father put you in His plan at the moment of your salvation. You are in the plan of God. Therefore, when you are thinking human viewpoint it is incompatible with His plan, with Who and what He is. He is called the Holy One because He has a perfect character. Each attribute in the essence of God is held together by grace. And you belong to Him now. He has norms and standards which He brings to you through Bible doctrine. That’s what it means by “like the Holy One Who called you.” You can’t become holy until you are in the plan of God, which means to take on the character of God and obviously if you are going to be holy it means to have an edification complex in your soul.
Wherever you find “holy,” “sanctified,” “saint,” or “sanctification” it all means the same thing: to be set apart unto God’s plan and it means to line up with God’s plan. Peter brings in documentation at this point. He wants us to realize that we are in the plan of God and so he documents it in verse 16.
Sanctification is the Greek word “hagiasmos” and literally means “separation unto God” or “to be set apart to God’. It is the same word used for “saint” and “holy”. Therefore, all believers are saints and all believers are holy. However, sanctification is in three stages for the believer and these stages must always be distinguished in order to accurately interpret the Word of God. The first is positional truth, the second is experiential truth and the third is ultimate truth. Each is a separate and a distinct stage in the life of the believer.
Because it is written, “You shall be holy for I am holy.” (Leviticus 11:44; 19:2; 20:7) You are in the plan of God — positional sanctification — but whether you ever have an edification complex or not depends on your positive or negative volition. Holy ones are believers with edification complexes. In other words, the saint [believer at the point of salvation] is commanded to be a holy one.
God is the author of the plan and God’s plan calls for believers to reflect His glory in time. The elect angels learn something of the grace of God when you become holy because holiness in the Christian life is a matter of God’s grace.
Success in the Christian life is not an accident and God does not have a “magic wand” that He waves every time you get in trouble or want something from Him. He does, however, have a system of grace. But God never forces His system on anyone; you and you alone must make the decision that you will learn this system and live within it.
God has set you apart in a permanent position that will never change regardless of your spiritual condition. You can also be set apart to God experientially by the use of God’s power system – the filling (control) of the Holy Spirit. And you will be set apart to God for all eternity when you receive your resurrection body at the Rapture.