Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed
The second part of verse 13 is very important. It’s a transitional phase for Peter’s letter. Here he refers to what he wrote in verse 3. According to Peter, the way to prepare your minds and exercise self-control is to “set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed” (v. 13).
Now remember: these Christians were under great persecution and experiencing tremendous suffering. And so before Peter moves into a section of the letter where he’s giving them a lot of commands for how to live in this world, he wants to – just one more time – offer them encouragement. Thus, he turns to the hope that they have in the grace that they’ll receive at the return of Christ.
You see, as awesome as God’s grace is right here and right now, Peter’s reminding his readers (that’s us) that the full measure of God’s grace that we’ll receive at Christ’s return is more than we can imagine.
But it’s important to say that Peter isn’t talking here about some sort of “pie in the sky bye and bye.” He’s not telling us that we should be so heavenly-minded that we’re no earthly good. Just the opposite. We should be working so hard preparing our minds and exercising self-control by setting our hope on the return of Christ, that we are earthly good.
In other words: Peter’s words of encouragement and hope in Christ’s return… demand a response from us. Going back to verse 14, he says…
As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.
Now that phrase, “obedient children,” is literally, “children of obedience.” And that’s to contrast other places where unbelievers are called “children of wickedness.”
It’s also important to note there that Peter calls us “children.” Peter wants us to remember that God is our loving Father. He cares for us. He made us. In fact, he made us in his image… that we might look like him. We’re to bear a family resemblance so that the rest of the world will know who and whose we are. That’s why Jesus says in Matthew 5:16…
In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in
Our character; our behavior; our words; our attitudes – and all the rest – should so reflect our heavenly Father… that others are immediately reminded of him and drawn to him when they meet us.
Thus, Peter is teaching us that we have to – we MUST – be different from the world. He told his readers not to be like they used to when they lived in ignorance. He’s saying, “Look. You used to have an excuse. You didn’t know God or the things of God. It’s understandable that you didn’t live as you should’ve been living.”
But now you know. Your excuses have evaporated. Be different from the world. Don’t follow its pattern. Don’t conform to it. Peter is saying: You’ve been made holy by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. When you came to faith in Christ you became a new creature in Christ. You are not the same as you used to be. Therefore, you’ve been called to holiness. So BE HOLY!
Stay tuned for Part 4.
Grace and Truth,