Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:13
The first command in verse 13 is to hope. In fact, this is the first command in the entire letter. Therefore, we are to hope. Our English translations vary on the best wording for verse 13. Some translate the verse as 3 imperatives such as:
KJV: Wherefore girt up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace
NASB: Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
NRSV: Therefore prepare your minds for action; discipline yourselves; set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when he is revealed.
However, Alexander MacLaren states that the Greek denotes that hope is the command, with “preparing your minds” and “being sober-minded” as qualifiers for how-to hope.
So, then, Peter tells us not only to hope, but give us instructions on how to hope:
A) preparing your minds for action
B) being sober-minded;
There is intentionality in this command. We are to purposefully place our hope.
Preparing your minds for action (KJV uses language of “girding” – “wherefore girt up the loins of your mind”)
Girding denotes preparation/readiness for action. The imagery is that of a soldier preparing for battle; someone preparing to begin to run/move quickly. It’s reaching between your legs, grabbing your robe and tucking it into your belt (i.e. like changing into running shorts) – a “tightening”; a leaving behind the things that get in our way.
As the bible says in Hebrews 12:1 –
Heb 12:1 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,”
This quote from Matthew Henry is helpful in understanding this passage:
“You have a journey to go, a race to run, a warfare to accomplish, and a great work to do; as the traveller, the racer, the warrior, and the labourer, gather in, and gird up, their long and loose garments, that they may be more ready, prompt, and expeditious in their business, so do you by your minds, your inner man, and affections seated there: gird them, gather them in, let them not hang loose and neglected about you; restrain their extravagances, and let the loins or strength and vigour of your minds be exerted in your duty; disengage yourselves from all that would hinder you, and go on resolutely in your obedience.”
In addition to girding, we are to prepare our minds specifically with truth.
Pastor John Piper is helpful here as he points to 2 reasons for for saying that we are to prepare our minds with truth:
First, we are to prepare our minds with truth instead of ignorance (see vs. 14) (we were ignorant before we knew the truth about God’s salvation by grace
Secondly, because Paul uses very similar language in Eph 6:
It’s easy to fill our minds with un-truths and straight-up lies but we must fight back by girding our loins and preparing our minds for action by filling our minds with truth.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, 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.