Christ Is Coming
by Duane Nelsen
As believers in Jesus Christ we have received a great salvation. The greatness of this salvation is set forth in part in 1 Peter 1 and includes being chosen, being born again, receiving a new hope and an eternal inheritance, being protected by God, and receiving the salvation of our souls.
With the greatness of our salvation we can sometimes think that the Christian life should be easy and painless. The life of the Christian is full of blessings and everything we need to live a life pleasing to the Savior is provided for, but there are also many challenges. “Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). The world is constantly pushing in on us and is trying to squeeze us into its way of thinking (Romans 12:1-2). We still have desires of the flesh warring against the desires of the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-26).
One thing we must do to overcome these adversaries is “fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:13b). Our hope, our confident expectation, our focus must be fixed on the future and the realization of the grace that will be given to us when Christ Jesus returns. Fixing our eyes on this is not easy though. The world, the flesh, and the devil all work to focus our attention on the here and now. And let’s face it, it is easier to focus on what we can see with our physical eyes than what God has promised us in his Word. 1 Peter 1:13 instructs us that in order to be placing our hope completely in God’s promises for our future we need to be engaging and disciplining our minds. Peter says we must “prepare our minds for action,” this could literally be translated “gird up the loins of the mind.” The picture is of tying up the loose ends of a tunic in preparation for strenuous labor.
The work that we are to engage in here is not physical labor but the working of the mind. This means submitting our minds to, delighting in, and meditating upon the Word of God and not looking to the world for counsel (Ps. 1:1-2).
To have our hope fixed on the future as we should, we must also be spiritually sober and alert, not having our spiritual senses impaired or dulled by sin. “Keep sober in spirit” 1 Peter 1:13 says. We must be clear-headed and not intoxicated with the sinful lusts and passing pleasures of this life in order to have our eyes of faith locked onto God and His promises.
We have a great and gracious God who has given us a great salvation with the best yet to come. Because of the many distractions and spiritual dangers, let us gird up our minds and labor to know God and focus on His promises in His word, let us avoid the intoxications of sin and the world, and let us set our spiritual eyes firmly on Jesus Christ and the fullness of the grace we shall experience when He returns.
As we are instructed in Hebrews 12:1, “Let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Maranatha!