Lesson 6 - I Peter 1:12-16

Lesson 6 - I Peter 1:12-16

Lesson for February 17, 2013

The Book of I Peter

I Peter 1:12-16

Verse 12

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.

Verse 13

“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. 

The Doctrine of Mental Attitude

  1. As a part of the spiritual conflict there exists in the mentality of the soul a conflict between the divine and the human viewpoint.  On one side there is doctrine and on the other is the human viewpoint of life and both of them get into the memory center where they have a conflict. Then there are norms and standards which also enter into the conflict so that we have a struggle of the divine versus the human viewpoint. (Isaiah 55:7-9)  Thinking comes before the action.  The Christian life depends on your mental attitude. The mental attitude can be relaxed or the mental attitude can be sinful (divine viewpoint or human viewpoint).
  2. God’s plan for the believer calls for a new mental attitude.  Christianity — entrance into the plan of God — demands that you have a new attitude, that you begin to look at life from God’s viewpoint. (II Timothy 1:7) The new attitude is “a sound mind”; Philippians 2:5, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” So this is a new mental attitude.
  3. Mental attitude determines the character of a person. (Proverbs 23:7 — “as a man thinketh, so he is”) The real you is what you think.  And, of course, the real principle is that what you think is going to come out sooner or later.  Therefore the importance of changing the way you think.
  4. The new mental attitude is commanded for the Christian way of life in 2 Corinthians 10:4,5  (“bringing every thought into captivity for Christ”).  This is accomplished by intake and application of accurate Bible doctrine. Bible doctrine comes into the mind and then volition works on it.  Positive volition by faith transfers it down to the human spirit where it becomes stored doctrine and then it goes into the frame of reference where it begins to form norms and standards as these are processed in the memory center and this is where we get “bringing every thought into captivity for Christ” or divine viewpoint.
  5. Bible doctrine shapes the metal attitude [this is girding up the loins] and then becomes the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16) Doctrine is the mind of Christ but it doesn’t become your attitude until it becomes a part of you.
  6. The consistent intake of doctrine into the human spirit produces confidence. (II Corinthians 5:1, 6, 8) These three verses indicate that while you are building an edification complex in your soul, you also begin to build confidence with regard to life.
  7. Love is a mental attitude. You do your greatest loving in the mentality of the soul. This is where it starts. (Deuteronomy 6:5; 10:12; 11:13) So capacity for love is resolved in the soul. (1 Corinthians 13:5)
  8. Aligning with the thinking of Satan’s world system is a mental attitude. (Romans 12:2; Colossians 3:2)  And since thinking precedes action, sinful activity begins with the wrong mental attitude.
  9. Stability is a mental attitude. Your whole life balance is strictly a mental attitude. Stability is achieved through the intake and application of Bible doctrine. (Isaiah 26:3,4; II Thessalonians 2:2)
  10. Mental attitude sins produce self-induced misery. (Proverbs 15:13)  One of the worst enemies you will ever have in your soul, outside of the satanic influences such as false doctrine, is mental attitude sin. They are the worst of all categories of sins. They lead to other sins and they also inflict great damage on your own soul.

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.

Verse 14

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. 

Verse 15

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.

Verse 16

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.