Hope in Grace

Verses 3-12 of I Peter 1 consist of four large sentences that build up to his thoughts that will continue through the rest of the chapter and into the next. He begins by blessing God for the hope of the resurrection and the gift of salvation. He claims this hope is a motivation for rejoicing even when times are tough, and he continues to focus on salvation as we enter verse 10, recalling the prophets who foretold of this hope – claiming they did so by the spirit of Christ. He concludes this introduction, reminding his audience that this hope has been revealed and is available to them.

The Grace Prepared for Us

These points leads him to his lesson in verse 13. Because we have this hope that God prepared, Peter calls us to prepare our minds. He uses the expression to gird up one’s loins as Paul does in Ephesians 6:14, calling us to gird ourselves with truth. Likewise, in Exodus 12:11, as the people prepare for the Passover deliverance, the people of Israel are commanded to gird their loins as if ready to depart. There is a sense of preparedness and alertness in this expression.

Being a Christian is not a spectator sport. We have to be alert and prepared at all times based on the gospel and the hope and that Christ continually brings to us. This grace is the free gift of Romans 6:23 – the hope for eternal life in God’s presence. Ephesians 2:8 emphasizes the role of grace in our salvation, and that knowledge should put us at the ready, preparing ourselves in the truth of God’s word. We are separated from God, but God’s grace should give us hope – not in ourselves, but upon Him.

This leads us to change how we are molded. We are no longer in the image of this world and the corruption thereof. Instead, we become children of obedience, modeling ourselves after God. I Corinthians 6:11 reminds us that we are washed, sanctified, and justified in Christ, separated from the lives we once led. Peter, in I Peter 1:15-16, calls us to pattern ourselves after the One who gave us hope. Every aspect of our lives should attempt to reflect our Father who purchased us with the ultimate price. I Corinthians 6:19-20 reinforces this idea that we are no longer our own because God purchased us, body and soul. Peter says our purchase is not by monetary means but with the blood of Christ, the spotless lamb.

The Blood of the Lamb

Exodus 13:11 begins stipulations regarding the firstborn offerings to commence after the entrance into Canaan. When it comes to unclean beasts of labor, they could be redeemed by the offering on a clean lamb. The clean stood in substitute for those animals that are unclean and useless in God’s eyes. Likewise, we make ourselves unclean when we sin. We separate ourselves from God, and we deserve death. However, God in His grace and mercy sent a clean lamb without spot or blemish to redeem all who would come to Him, fashioning themselves after holiness in all facets of their lives.

I cannot come to God on my terms. I cannot make myself worthy of His salvation. I cannot pay off my debt of sin in ay way. All I can do is place my hope and trust in the Christ that came as a sacrifice for my sins. His sacrifice is our reason for obedience and worship, but this life of servitude takes preparation. Our hope in Christ should drive us to gird ourselves in His truth and pattern ourselves after Him.

lesson by Tim Smelser