Prepping your mind to understand theological tension will help alleviate the daily tension of life.
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1 Peter 1 Summary
We need to be reminded often not to skip over the introductions to epistles (letters) like 1 Peter. There's a ton of good, useful theology in them, especially in Peter's intro. Check out last year's DIG DEEPER post for a review of how these verses explain the doctrine of election, and why it's so important.
This chapter is a textbook example of an idea that's central to our faith, a doctrine simply known as Already, Not Yet. In a nutshell, this means that you are already fully saved and the benefits of salvation are yours, but these benefits are not yet fully realized in your life here and now.
Peter gives a perfect example of this tension:
ALREADY: you are born again to an inheritance... so rejoice!
NOT YET: the inheritance is kept in heaven... while for a little while you have various trials.
Verse 13 contains one of the most awesome commands of the Bible:
Prepare your mind for action...
Literally translated, that sentence looks like this:
Gird up the loins of your mind by putting it fully under control...
It quickly becomes clear why most English versions don't translate it this way. Girding up our loins just sounds weird.
The phrase is one that would have been familiar to Roman soldiers whose tunic resembled more of a kilt (see the picture above). In order to run, the hem of the kilt needed to be lifted (or girded) up around his waist (or loin).
In the same way, as a Christian, your mind needs to be in shape and ready to rumble.
We often approach our time in church or reading the Bible with completely the opposite attitude: to find rest from the mental stress we face all week long.
That's not necessarily wrong, but consider how much stress you would avoid if your mind was being continually strengthened by strong doctrine and theology that would help you make more sense of the broken, fallen world that you live in. Often (but certainly not always) it's theological ignorance that fuels anxiety.
Do the hard work of preparing your mind for action in the Kingdom of God.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our God and Father has given us His great mercy and caused us to be born again (v3)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray for the strength and desire to prepare your mind for action.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: