1 Peter 1:13-16
Why gird up the loins of your mind, be sober…
I. Hope in its preliminary but indispensable CONDITIONS.
II. Hope in its OPERATION.
1. Hope is natural to the human mind, nothing more natural. It is a sweet-scented flower growing in every poor man's garden; a perennial flower, never blooming so exquisitely as in the midwinter of adversity.
2. "Hope perfectly." By this St. Peter probably means the same as St. Paul when the latter speaks of "the full assurance of hope," an unfaltering persuasion in the mind that we have a personal interest in the "inheritance reserved in heaven," "the salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." "When I live," wrote Latimer to Ridley, "in a settled and steadfast assurance about the state of my soul, methinks I am as bold as a lion; I can laugh at all trouble; no affliction daunts me; but when I am eclipsed in my comforts I am of so fearful a spirit that I could run into a very mouse hole." Now, how to attain this perfection of hope, this full assurance? Evidently by constantly but legitimately exercising this grace according to the Divine word and testimony, for, like other things, it grows bright in use.
3. "Hope unto the end." Persevere in the face of difficulties, however colossal, "for he that continueth to the end shall be saved." Turn your face to the Sun, pitch your hope fixedly on the inheritance reserved for you up yonder, and the shadows will all fall behind you.
III. Hope in its immutable FOUNDATION.
1. Our hope of salvation is based on Divine grace as brought to us in the past at the first revelation of Jesus Christ.
2. But not only has grace been brought to us in the past, but fresh supplies are being brought to us in the present. "The grace that is a-bringing, that is being brought to you, as the revelation of Jesus Christ." Grace came to the world in the person and work of Jesus Christ; it is still coming, a very present help in trouble, to God's people, whether that trouble be in the shape of sufferings or temptations. John Bunyan in his immortal dream beheld a fire which burnt on brightly notwithstanding all efforts to extinguish it. What was the explanation of this persistence? Oh, a man stood the other side of the wall continually pouring oil into it. "Hope perfectly, unto the end," for the gospel treasury of grace will never fail you.
3. But this hope looks forward to the future, to the final triumph of grace "at the revelation of Jesus Christ." Much grace has already been revealed; but eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath entered the heart of man the things God hath in store for His people.
(J. C. Jones, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;