Wednesday February 13, 2019
Ephesians; 1:4 - The calling of the elect, part 9: The called call upon a holy God.
The called also call upon the name of the Lord, ROM 10:12-14; 1CO 1:2. They call upon the Father, 1PE 1:17.
This gets us right back to our priesthood. As the called, or elect, we have ascended through the heavens to the throne of the Father with our Lord. We approach that heavenly throne and call upon the Father and call upon His name.
1PE 1:13 Therefore, gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
The recipients of the letter are reminded that they are strangers in this world, vs. 1. They are reminded that they will face difficult times in vs. 6, “distressed by various trials.” Yet, they are also reminded that as the foreknown elect, they are the recipients of a divine inheritance “which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away” in vs. 4. For this reason, they must “gird their minds for action.”
Peter is grabbing a reference from the first Passover.
EXO 12:11 'Now you shall eat it in this manner: with your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste — it is the Lord's Passover.
In the east, where people often wore long garments and robes, the only way to run unhindered was to gird or gather up the clothes around your waist. From childhood this became an instinctive habit.
The elect are to have their mental powers alert and unhindered by sin or laziness or fear or sorrow or distraction. We are girded up, not entangled (HEB 12:1) in order to run the race set before us.
We are aware of what impedes our mental powers for action in the plan of God for our lives. Worry, fear, anxiety, laziness, sorrow, self-pity, anger, jealousy, impurity, lust, addiction, and many more. The problem is not that these hindrances are hidden from us. We know them well. The problem is that we ignore them and refuse to acknowledge them as currently ruling our souls. They must be immediately recognized and laid aside. It is not always easy to do this, in fact, sometimes it feels like the greatest war of our lives, but God does not hide from us that reality. We fight the good fight. We don’t lie down. We get up! Depending on the power of God, the very purpose for the Holy Spirit to indwell us, to keep us moving forward, charging up the high ground.
1PE 1:13 Therefore, gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ [justification and sanctification now and glorification in eternity].
“keep sober in spirit” is to be calm, collected, self-controlled, and careful. This believer is optimistic. He has joy and energy despite being distressed by various trials. He is aware of the history that he lives in and that God has a plan for this world in which he plays a part and in which God has allowed His perfect will to unfold. He is aware that he is not the center of this universe or of his own life. He is willing to do whatever the will of God may be. This is a hope that is complete as Peter writes.
Perfect hope is a lack of despair. Jesus is coming and I will see Him. I have His grace now and more is to come. No matter what is on the menu of my life, that dessert is coming.
Such people are rare, and I fear, becoming more rare, yet they are the most important people in the world. All of the elect should be this way.
1PE 1:14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance,
It is a real privilege to be the child of great parents. We are children of God and that demands our obedience to Him and not to our former lusts which were ours because we were ruled by the flesh and alienated from God. No more. Due to the death and resurrection of Christ, all who believe are born again.
1JO 3:1 See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
A believer should not be masquerading in the costume of the flesh or the world. Christ is to shine through him.
EPH 5:13 But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.
EPH 5:14 For this reason it says,
And arise from the dead,
And Christ will shine on you."
EPH 5:15 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise,
EPH 5:16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil.
And I repeat again, that is not always going to be easy, and at times seemingly impossible, but nothing is impossible with God. We must fight. We must get up!