by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 1 Paragraph # 3 Study # 2 May 3, 2009 Lincolnton, N.C.
13 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;
14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
1901 ASV Translation:
13 Wherefore girding up the loins of your mind, be sober and set your hope perfectly on the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
14 as children of obedience, not fashioning yourselves according to your former lusts in the time of your ignorance:
15 but like as he who called you is holy, be ye yourselves also holy in all manner of living;
16 because it is written, Ye shall be holy; for I am holy.
I. Peter's Focus Upon "Holiness".
A. Begins with the "mind".
1. The focus upon "girding" [See notes for Apr. 26, 2009].
2. The focus upon "being sober".
a. Participles introduce attendant issues. Both "gird" and "be sober" are actually participles translated as imperatives. Such translations obscure the writer's focus. In other words, translating "be sober" as an imperative actually keeps one from being able to be sober. The reason I say this is that, according to Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, the word translated "be sober" is a word that camps on the notion of absolutely clear thinking that is not "fuzzy" (Vol. IV, p. 937). According to the translators, there are either three imperatives (AV) or two imperatives (ASV), but there is actually only one that has two "attendant prerequisites".
b. The issue of "being sober" (present, active, participle qualifying the imperative "hope") is an on-going, deliberate exclusion of any form of inebriation as a metaphor taken from the way a person functions when impaired. There are two parts. The first is found in the Aorist participle of the verb "to gird up". This participle and its tense assumes a deliberate "gathering" of the fragments of the cloth of the loins of the mind as a "done deal". The second is found in the Present participle of the verb "to be sober". This active, on-going activity signals the need for a deliberate discipling of the mind. "Being sober" means that one is deliberately "focusing" so that the "having girt up the loins of your mind" is actually maintained. Technically Peter could have put the "gird up" in the form of a present tense and gotten the response for which he seems to have been seeking (Be in a continuous state of gathering the fragments of your mind...). However, because he put that into a pre-activity by using the Aorist and then shifted to the present, on-going, activity of "being sober", it appears that he thought his readers might have a problem with the question of "how" one is to "gird up the loins of the mind". By adding the well-known picture of a drunk into the mix, he made it a bit more clear as to what he was seeking: the "girding" is the staging activity for the on-going action of "focus" ("being sober").
1) There are three ways of being "drunk".
a) There is the physical way: drinking enough of an alcoholic drink to impair the function of the brain.
b) There is the emotional way: being so focused upon "relating" that there is no discipline in the conversation.
c) There is the spiritual (I am using the word not in a "Spiritual" sense, but in the sense of the inner spirit of man) way: being so focused upon "being the center of attention" that just about anything that will obtain it is acceptable.
2) What needs to be clear is that "being sober" is more comprehensive in meaning than simply "being free from alcohol". It is a blindness for a glutton to render judgment upon a drunk. There are several ways to violate the necessity of "being sober".