1 Peter 1:13-14 talks about the unison of mind and action. It’s “all in” thinking to be fully allegiance and committed to Christ. This is another section of the Bible that I feel really needs to be read in its native language or you just can’t fully get the point. I hope you like the idea of learning a little bit of Greek because we’re gonna jump in! This would have been very difficult to explain in the video so it’s going to flow a little bit easier in writing. (I hope) 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.
The king James uses the translations “girding up” the loins of your mind. It’s the Greek word anazosamenoi. It’s the only time we get this exact word in the Bible. I talk about this sometimes in a tres Dias talk and people always assume that the loins are the legs, but they actually are the lower five vertebrae of the back.
In their custom they pulled up the robe and belt and put everything together so they would have ease of movement perhaps running but the wording is more about strength and foundational back support. There’s a connotation that you can take away from this from when we work out today, putting a heavy leather weight belt around our back for support and to make sure we don’t do more damage than good. A lot of people that lift heavy things for their work also wear these big belts. Whether you apply it to your job or working out, the idea is you’re ready for action to get to work. But Peter uses it applying it to your mind not your body. The word he uses is dianoias. Normally when a biblical author speaks of the mind he uses a different word -nous. So when I read this in Greek the first thing I wonder is why did he use this unusual word for mind? He also uses a prefix before it dis which signifies the idea of through. It’s a strange combination and you actually have to think about it for a minute to translate it into English. The idea is to think through something. what he is seeing here is that faith in action requires a change in your thinking. Faith is not inactive acceptance.
But this little Greek puzzle continues. Most translations say “do not be conformed” but the actual translation more literally reads” not fashion in yourselves”, It comes from the Greek word suschematizo. In English this translates to “schematic” or a pattern that is used to produce copies. You can also think of it as a mold of which you’re going to produce several things that look exactly the same, it’s a pattern for living in the NT that comes from Leviticus 18:1-5 and 24-30.
What Peter is getting at here is that before we knew Christ we lived a certain way. Now that we know him something needs to change. We can’t continue living off of the same pattern that we did before we are aware of Gods grace in what He is asking us to live like. He describes the former ways as “lusts”. This is a very interesting choice of words in my opinion. The Greek is epithymia. What he says here is that during our former (proteron) state of living we lived in ignorance; or in other places of the New Testament this is described as living in the dark. This is a reference to sacred space. When you are holy you were revealed by the light, when you’re of the world you are in the dark. This is a wordplay on the mind. Peter is alluding to the idea of ignorance.
This is a profound place in scripture that if you’re not reading in Greek you totally miss. This word is agnoia (from which we get “agnostic”). This is the battle that Paul was in with the people the letter was written to. Peter is writing this entire sermon in Hebrew thought form (but to a mixed audience). You have to read it in Greek but think like a Hebrew! What he is describing is a lack of knowledge that leads to mistaken conduct and moral deficiency.
To the Greek world at the time they believed that knowledge lead to enlightenment. But in Hebrew this word is ewil and has very little to do with how smart you were, it had to do with relationships. We read this kind of Hebraic thought throughout the Psalms and Proverbs. Foolishness was the mark of a man who did not understand his place before the Lord. In the Hebrew mind, foolishness isn’t about moral deficiency it was about spiritual and sacred deficiency.
Matt and I continued going right into the beginning of chapter 2 because there isn’t a chapter (or thought) break here in Greek.
2:1 charges right back into this kind of thinking admonishing us to put aside malice, guile, hypocrisy, envy and slander.
Malice is the word kakia & means evil of the heart. Now this is a “naphesh” type of word that means the totality the whole of everything. Guile is the word dolon and means bait. This is a hard one to get in English but what Peter is alluding to is hypocrisy. The Greek is hypokrisis and literally means under judgment. Under means something that is hidden. He’s talking about exposing something that is in the dark. Hypocrisy is the root of deceit. It’s when somebody’s not being forthright. It’s interesting that Peter describes this as utter evil. In the Old Testament it was also described as idolatry, anytime you put something else in the place of or “over” God. (Some great over/under contrast language going on.)
We get the cultural translation of envy meaning jealousy, slander means all evil words. In Greek there’s a lot of words associated with this like turning against something or being the catalyst. It means to talk at random, the contronym of lego which means to speak from the intellect or reason. Katalalias is gossip, fruitless talk with evil intent, or a “back-biter”.
This is the end of our third film, but eventually he is setting all of this up to later in the chapter say Jesus was not like any of this and if you want to be like Jesus then all of it has to go.
Peter tells us the reason that Jesus did not retaliate but “gave himself over to” – the word is paradidomi. It has the sense of completely delivering oneself over to the power of another.
Non-aggression in adversity and suffering. “Suffer” is the verb pascho. This is undeserved suffering for the sake of “righteousness” (dikaiosune) – that which is just, the state of good standing before God. As I have mentioned many times before, in Hebraic thought you were blessed by the longer you had to suffer or endure hardship. This is the picture of Jesus at the cross the ultimate form of suffering, and that we are ultimately called to be like Jesus. When we can be like Jesus then we will be blessed. In our world we think that means prosperity or given things but that’s not the biblical meaning of the word.
You are blessed – “makarios” which is the same word used over and over and the beatitudes. In fact it was probably Peters way of getting you to have a flashback to remember exactly what Jesus described as life in Him.
This is a whole circular thought that comes back to the beginning of the puzzle where Peter began. To be blessed meant to humbly be in intimate relationship or union with God. Which is exactly what he starts with. Joy in Jesus.