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[5] Set Your Hope on Approaching Grace 1Pet 1:13


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A good question to ask our friends who dont know Jesus would
be this: What do you think a person must place his or her hope in
order to be a genuine Christian? (Kids write down on your order of
worship the answer to this question: What do you think a person
must place his or her hope in order to be a genuine Christian? (Write
it down-or draw it-and talk about your answer later with your mom
and dad. Ask them what they wrote.) How we answer that question is
the most important question you will interact with today. More
important than whats for lunch? What is the week like? Hows your
bracket? What do you think a person must place his or her hope in
order to be a genuine Christian? We could also ask, From your
perspective as a person who doesnt believe in Jesus what does it look
like Christians are hoping in? If the first question says, What should
we be hoping in? the second one says, What does it look like we are
actually hoping in?
Well in Gods kindness those are the questions were looking at
today. What must our hope be in? What will it look like if our hope is
located there. Turn please to 1 Peter. If you are not aware, Peter was
one of the 12 disciples of Jesus, and among the group of 12 Jesus had

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an inner circle of even closer friends: Peter was one of them. Were
listening today to one of Jesus closest friends tell us about where the
object of our hope should be. What makes Peters words all the more
appropriate is that he writes to people suffering on account of their
trust in Jesus. Suffering tends to strip away every lesser reality and
hope leaving us with whats most important. Lets listen as Peter talks
to people who have (or are danger in) of losing everything. Listen to
where he directs the hope of persecuted Christians. (Read 1:13-21).
Let me tell you where we are going. Show you where we are
going and then explain where we are going.
Let me tell you where we are going. Here are our main
points, not very memorable, sorry. 1-Set Your Hope in
Approaching Grace (v13). 2-Hope in Grace Induces Holiness
(vv14-16). 3-Hope in Grace Induces Fear (vv17-21).
Now let me show you how we arrive at those points.
Three commands govern vv13-21. The nerdy way to say that is three
imperatives govern this section. The first command of this section
(and of the entire book) is in right in the middle of v13: Set your hope
(elpisate a-a-impv) fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the
revelation of Jesus Christ.Last week we mentioned how the NIV
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translated a section of chapter one better than the ESV. Today its the
opposite. If you are reading from a translation like the NIV, it looks
like set your hope is the third command. So the NIV reads: Therefore
(1) prepare your minds for action; (2) be self-controlled; and (3) set
your hope. Now Im not trying to be cheeky, but in the original text of
the NT there is only one word in the imperative form (one command):
Set your hope. The other two are (sorry) participles. Why does that
matter? The command is set your hope fully, and I think the two ptc
tells us how to set our hope fully on grace, that is, set your hope fully
on grace by having your mind prepared for action (ovocoorvoi a
ptc) and by constantly being sober-minded (vqov:r ppptc). And
then why are saying set your hope in approaching grace? Because of
the rest of v13: Set your hope on the grace being brought to you at
the revelation of Jesus Christ. Grace is being carried to us, is
approaching us. Thus, set your hope on approaching grace like setting
your hope on an arriving airplane, which will reveal your loved ones
to you. Thats command one.
The second commandment governing this section is in v15: Be
holy in all your conduct (agioi rv rooq ovoo:poq genh/qhte). Again it
looks like v14 has a commandment, but is another participle helping
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us understand how we are to be holy. Then the very beginning of v15
locates the command in Gods action and v16 locates the command to
be holy in Gods own character. V16-As he who called you is holy.
Calling refers to Gods sovereign and gracious call of us out of
darkness and into his light. And then of course as God is holy so be
holy.
That brings us to last command governing this section. Its right
in the middle of v17: Conduct (Live) your life with fear (fo/bw :ov :q
ropoixi o cv povov anastrafhte). Then v18-21 gives us reasons to
fear. Fear v17 because you have a Father you will give an account to
and he will be impartial when he judges and evaluates you. And Fear
vv18-21 because of the great cost of your ransom. You were ransomed
with the precious blood of Christ who was chosen for that purpose
before the foundation of the world. Conduct your life with fear
because of what will happen to you if you belittle the ransom price
paid for you and you outrage the Spirit of grace with profane living.
Listen to how the Hebrews makes a similar point: 28 Anyone who has
set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three
witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by
the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood
of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?
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30 For we know him who said, The Lord will judge his people. 31 It is a
fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
So those are three commands, emerging from the text itself,
that govern this section: ( 1)set your hope fully on approaching grace,
(2) be holy, & (3) conduct your life with fear. All three of these
commands function like the solid white line on either side of the road
and like the dotted line down the middle of the road. They help us
make it through the time of exile here without total immersion/
saturation. Remember Peter writes to people persecuted for trusting
Jesus. One way to ease the social stigma of loving Jesus, one way to
get a better job is to blend in and saturate yourself with the sights and
sounds of the city. That may be a temporary solution. It may bring
some relief for a little while but it will be of no avail when we stand
before the Father who judges us impartially. So with these three
commands Peter gives us a proper self-understanding for living life in
the city. Set your hope on the coming city, be holy and be fearful.
Why have we attached hope to each of these? This section
governed by three commands (vv13, 15, 17) is also framed with the
concept of hope. V13 is the command to hope and now look down at
the end of v21: sothatyourfaithandhopeareinGod.The section begins
and ends with hope. What Peter is driving at is that our faith and
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hope are where? in God. Not faith and hope in hope. Not faith and
hope in your suffering ending. Not faith and hope in your
performance. Not faith and hope in yourself. But faith and hope in
God. This passage is steeped and soaked in hope. I take that to mean
that hope induces the other two commands. My wife was induced
with all of our children. They used a drug called pat. The drug
induces, produces the contractions and dilatations necessary for
birth. Pot. induces birth. Well, Peter is telling us that having your
hope set in grace induces holiness. Hope induces holiness. Hope
induces fear. Dont miss that. Its not guilt that induces holiness. Its
not approval that induces holiness. Hope in God induces holiness.
Hope in God induces fear. And the reason we recoil, especially some
of us with our backgrounds, is because we think of holiness as stifling
and fear as servile because its never been presented as being
motivated by hope. Hope in Gods grace is the fuel and only sufficient
fuel of holiness of fear. So set your hope fully in approaching
Grace. Hope in Grace Induces Holiness. Hope in Grace
Induces Fear.
So now that Ive told you where we are going, and Ive tired
to show you where we are going, lets settle in to explain
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where were going in more detail. Well do that by looking at
the first of these three commands.
(v13) Set Your Hope Fully on Approaching Grace.
What is the first word of v13? Therefore (Aio). Sometimes
therefore can introduce an entirely new section. But most of the time
therefore tells us that we were about to say is based on all that has
come before. For 12 verses Peters been trying to get them to set their
hope in what God has done for them. Stop looking and whats being
done to you and listen to what God has, is, and will do for you.
Because you are Gods elect, because you are temporary residents,
because you are born again to a new hope and to a new inheritance,
because you and your inheritance are being kept and guarded,
because the prophets and angles longed to understand all this grace
that was to be yours, therefore hope in it! Hope in grace.
This is the first commandment of the book. For 12 vv he hasnt
told us, suffering people, to do anything, and when he finally does he
says in essence, Hope in the grace Ive been reminding you about.
Because you have this hope, set your hope in it. Its similar to Jesus
confrontation of the Pharisees and they want to know what do they
have to do the work of God and Jesus replies this is the work of God,
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that you believe in his name. This is counterintuitive to our human
nature. We want to do something. But the gospel says you must
believe something. Put your hope in Gods work for you. That is what
comes to heart of being an authentic Christian.
The first thing Peter tells them to do, in essence, is to believe,
remember; set your hope in the Gods gospel. God caused you to be
born again; God gave you a living hope through the resurrection of his
Son; God gave you and inheritance; God is keeping you through faith;
God is making you more precious through fiery pain, God has raised
up prophets, so set your hope in Gods work. So what then must our
hope be in order be an authentic Christian? Not your work. Not your
hope. Not your goodness. Not your anything. Set your hope in Gods
work for you. How are you rightly related to God? Put your hope in
what he has done for you through Jesus life, death and resurrection.
And having set you hope there, keep in there. You will not escape
from your sin and enter a relationship with the living God unless you
forsake all your work, call it empty and worthless, and set your hope
in his work alone. Christianity is not a system of works. It is not a club
for the moral and righteous. It not way of ethics. It is a way of
believing. And we will not endure unless we set our hope fully in his
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work of Sovereign Hop, Joy and Promises. Listen to the OT
hymnbook from the Psalm 147: 10 His delight is not in the strength of the
horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man, 11 but the LORD takes pleasure in
those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love. His love not mine
is the resting place. His work not mine the resting place. We are saved
by works, but it not our works. Set your hope in the work of his grace.
And I like what one person says, Dont be half hearted hopers. Set
your hope fully on the grace. Or maybe we could say only. Set your
hope fully, EBC, all of it, dont give a half hearted effort with your
hope. Set it fully on Christ. ]
You know how you set a hook in a fishs mouth? You feel the tug
and maybe one more to make sure its there and then you give it a
strong pull up and back to set the hook deeply in the fishs mouth.
Thats what Peter is saying here. Your hope is like a fishing hook.
Through out your hope there in the ocean of his grace, let in sink
down deep and be swallowed up. Then with all your might yank up
and back set the hook of hope fully into his gaping mouth of his grace.
Set your hope, suffering Christian, on the work of his grace.
But the object of this hope is not simply something God has
done in the past, thought is certainly starts there. But Peter tells us set
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your hope in the grace that is being brought to you. Do you see how
rich this is? The Christians past is characterized by grace, grace from
before the foundation of the world, for we were elect according the
foreknowledge of God. And now in time, Peter tells us that with the
death and resurrection of Jesus grace is yours (v10) to us now and
elsewhere Paul can say God is able to make all grace abound to you.
And now Peter reminds us that for the Christian the best is yet to
come. Set your hope fully on what? On the grace that will be brought
to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. In other words, you know you
have to look forward to at the return of Christ? Grace! More grace!
The resurrection of Christ tells us the best is yet to come! Grace is
being brought to you. He still has more grace to pour out on us.
We used the illustration earlier of waiting in the terminal and
setting your hope fully on the approaching plane which will reveal
your loved ones. Maybe now we could use the picture of the Father of
the prodigal son who looks out and sees his wayward son returning.
And the son starts running but the dad starts running harder and
faster. We call out to the doubting, the guilt-ridden but returning Son,
set your hope fully on the grace running towards you. Set your hope
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on the approaching Son. That is what Peter does here. The grace
youve set your hope on is present but it is not yet fully realized.
Now when I hear this I try to illustrate it like this. What is there
in life now that functions like faint echo of this? Something that is still
future, but having set my hope in it gives present meaning to my life?
And what I always think of is a wedding or of vacation long planned
for. In a sense there is grace in the past. When the two of werent
really sure. Or if you were like I was you blew it by sending mixed
signals. And my red light green light actions deserved to get me
kicked to the curb. But then that was passed by and you entered the
joy of engagement and engagement planning. But no one wants a long
engagement. Thats no fun. Its not where you want to be forever.
What gets you through stress of wedding planning the disparate
opinion of outlaws is the wedding date. You enjoy a measure of
marital grace now, but you endure the stress of engagement by
eagerly anticipating that day when the bride will be brought to you,
when the groom will be brought to you. Setting your hope fully on the
approaching grace of marriage animates you now. It gets your
through life now. And you may say to yourself, It doesnt matter
because in four weeks I am going on vacation and Imm be outta here.
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And every day, my vacation draws closer. So I can make it. Now in
small way that is how biblical hope function. What animates our hope
is our fixation upon the full measure of grace coming to us. Grace
behind me. Grace with me. And nothing but Grace before me.
Now, Peter doesnt leave us without help in how to do this.
Peter gives us two ways to make sure we fully sink the teeth of our
hope in grace. Set your hope fully on grace by preparing for action
and by being sober-minded. The first well take as positive means and
negative means. Set your hope fully by doing this and by not doing
this.
Having Prepared for Action
First set your hope by preparing your mind for action
(anazwsamenoi :o ooo :q oiovoio cv a-mptc). See that at the
beginning of v13? Nearly all the translations we have are interpreting
greek idiom for us. All translation engage in whats called dynamic
equivalency. How do you bring things like idioms and figures of
speech into the receptor language? Thats the issue here and
invariably you loose something from language dont you? The
majestic KJV translates this more literally: Gird up the loins of your
mind.
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What does that mean? Well then as in many parts of the world
today people wore an outer garment of one piece like a long robe. In
order to run the men would gather up their robes and tuck it into
their belt so they be ready to run without obstruction. Gather up your
robe, tuck it in and get ready to run. This image forms part of the
instruction God gave his people the night of the Passover in Ex 12:11
where God instructed them to eat the meal with their shoes on and
their loins girded up with truth. Paul tells us to have our loins girded
up with truth, or gather up your robe and fasten it with the belt of
truth. Be ready to fight in truth. We might say roll up your sleeves and
get ready to work. Get on your running shorts. Or your teacher tells in
you class that when the bell rings you need to have your pencils
sharpened and be ready for work.
This colorful image then, gird up the loins of your mind, when
applied to the mind means something like prepare your mind for
learning and thinking. Get your mind ready to sweat and think. Put
on your workout clothes and get ready to work. And what do you
suppose we are to think about? Well, the implication is get ready to
sweat and think about the grace that is to be revealed at the revelation
of Christ. In other words, this command to set you hope is
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accomplished by holy sweaty thinking on the approaching hope. This
is not a passive thing, this setting our hope on grace. And the object of
our hope is, of course, the same object of our thinking: the truth and
hope of the gospel. You will not set your hope on truth and grace
unless you prepare your mind to think on truth on grace. We will not
do that mby mindlessly checking the twitter feed or scrolling through
facebook or watching movie after movie on netflex. (Or maybe we
should use FB to help each other set their hope in grace.) Or maybe
that is not what you battle with. Something competes for the
affections of your mind. And sometimes it is what we know is wrong,
and sometimes it is something good, but that is not good for us. You
wont set your hope on what you dont think about. Prepare your
mind to think on the gospel so you can set your hope fully on the
gospel. What is that Paul commands us in Phil 4:13 whatever is true,
whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,
whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of
praise, think about these things.
One of the most practical was I know to do this starts with
memorization. Yesterday in our SG facilitators meeting many of the
leaders themselves talked about how helpful it is has been to
memorize Scripture as SG. I can add my own amen to that. If Peter is
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telling us to set our hope on the first 12 verse of this book, do you
think it would be reasonable to prepare your mind to memorize this?
Beloved I am not trying to lay some unreasonable burden of guilt on
us. I am trying us to hear the intensity of Peters call. How are we
going to set our hope on grace if you dont prepare to think about it?
Set your hope fully on grace by preparing to take action to set your
hope on grace.
So how are you preparing to set your hope fully on grace?
For me in the last three weeks Ive been surprised about how
much time I actually have in the car and about how little I have been
setting my hope on grace. On average after I drop Katherine off for
school I have about 15 minutes of time. I do that that about 3 or 4
days a week. I have been setting my mind on talk radio, catching the
political news and sports talk. Now over the last three weeks, 3 or 4
days I spend time memorizing 1 Pet. And when I get up in the
morning and in the shower I am reviewing 1 Peter. I am trying to set
my hope fully on grace by preparing my mind to think about grace.
Beloved, our joy in Jesus is at stake. Set your hope, set your
hope, by preparing your mind for action. That is the positive way to
obey this.
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By Being Sober-Minded
Now for the negative. Set your hope by preparing your mind for
action and by being sober minded. Now this is a favorite word of
Pauls, It the word used to describe one of the qualifications of elders:
they are to be sober-minded. It is used at the end of 1 Pet to describe
our vigilances in fighting evil: Be sober for your adversary is seeking
to devour you.
Originally the word refers to intoxication from alcohol. We still
have the usage dont we. Be sober. Dont get drunk. Now Peter means
more than that, but he doesnt mean less. Can we all be crystal clear
on this? Alcohol is a good gift from God. Everything God created is
good and nothing is to be rejected if you can enjoy it with
thanksgiving and with a clear conscience (1 Tim 4:1-3). (Now if you
are under age, under your parents authority or have signed a
pledged, struggle with it etc, dont even think about.) But under no
circumstances should you ever get drunk or place yourself regularly in
an environment where alcohol is the center of the party. Drunkenness
is not to be laughed at. In fact, wine laughs at drunk people and
people who cannot live without it--You a fool. You dumb. Wine is a
mocker. Paul says of elders they should not be given to much wine.
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He doesnt say they should never drink, but he does say they should
not be give over to, known for and be controlled by drink, even if they
never get drunk. Then listen to Peters words in chapter 4:3 For the
time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in
sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless
idolatry. 4 With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join
them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you. Why? Because
drunkenness and drinking parties will dull your senses to be
captivated and controlled by grace. Be sober dont get drunk because
if you do it will hinder your ability to set your hope on grace.
But of course, alcohol is not Peters primary referent is it? Peter
is thinking much broader than that. Set your hope by being sober
minded. That is, refuse to allow anything to intoxicate your mind so
that your ability to hope in grace is deadened. Dont drink anything
with your mind that dulls your ability to enjoy and hope in grace.
Many things in lifeoften good thingscompete for our attention.
Youre going to have to refuse to drink in anything with you mind that
will dull your senses, that will anesthetizes you to grace. Maybe its
just the mindless watching of good ole The Andy Griffith Show.
Maybe its country music. Maybe its March Madness.
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Do you see beloved, what is at stake? Our living hope in Jesus.
Our joy in suffering. Defeat these affections with a superior affection
of hope in the gospel.
Now let me tell you how Ive seen this in my life. Be very honest.
My wife and I enjoy watching movies whenever we get a chance. Of
course we try to be selective and discerning. But we went through a
period time a few years back where it seems like every film we chose
had a low grade level of sensuality. Now that never led to anything
serious, but for me I started growing more and more drawn to it. The
repeated unintended exposure to sensuality started to dull my joy in
the gospel. And when it finally hit me I felt like a fool. How blind and
nave I had been. I was being slowly imperceptibly intoxicated with
something that was deadening my hope in grace. At end prep last
night, i turned on the end of the UK game. I was blown away with the
sensuality of the commercials and the objectification of women and if
I am not careful Ill start laughing at sensuality. And then my hope in
grace is dulled.
Now maybe that is not your story. But there is something like
that for you that your are drinking in with your mind and affection,
and unless you sober up, it will affect your ability to set you hope in
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grace. Maybe for you Saturday night you feel like its your only night
to stay up late. And Sunday morning is hard for you. Mornings are
always hard for most of us, but we make it worse by the things we
drink it with our minds Saturday night. But whatever for you
Relationships, approval, money, a desire to fit in, your dream career.
Whatever it is, you may need to sober up regarding is, or else it will
affect your hope in God.
Beloved do you hear Peter? I want us as a church to be stirred
up, not to be half-hearted hopers. But people who set our hope fully
on his grace by preparing your mind to think on the grace and by
being sober minded with reference to things that will dull your ability
to set you hope fully in grace. And listen to the seriousness of this
when we hear Jesus words.
Mark 4:16 And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when
they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy. 17 And they have no root in
themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises
on account of the word, immediately they fall away. 18 And others are the ones
sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, 19 but the cares of the
world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter
in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.

So set your hope on the grace coming to you.

And rest in the one who on who set his sights on the joy that was
before him. For the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its
shame, that be might be the author of finisher of our faith. Set your
hope in him for here he comes.