Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Holiness Conundrum Part 2

1 Peter 1:13-16, “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘be holy for I am holy.’”

So here we are. Three verses, from the Bible, in their entirety, not taken out of context, insisting that it is incumbent upon us to actually do something, and not just sit there picking our belly button lint, or making ear wax sculptures to pass the time.

‘Heresy, I say, heresy! Are you actually saying what I think you’re saying? Are you actually putting forth the argument that Christians have to do something more than just raise a limp hand in a stadium and walk the isle in order to be forever and irrevocably saved? I’ve heard of people like you, you and your works salvation, you and your arrogant belief that man can actually do something, anything in order to facilitate holiness in his life.’

But it’s in the Bible! Right there! Didn’t change it, didn’t add to it, I quoted three verses from the first epistle of Peter that tells us we have to do more than one thing, and even more than two or three things.

First, we are instructed to gird up the loins of our mind. Granted, the meaning of this instruction has been somewhat diminished by history, but it is nevertheless understandable for anyone willing to take a breath and meditate on it. Sure, I can go into the whole Hebrews wore tunics, and they had girdles into which they tucked their tunics explanation, but what this expression actually means is to be ready, to prepare oneself, to be focused, and to be equipped.

One who has girded the up the loins of their mind will never be a reactionary. They will have prepared themselves for every eventuality, they will have steeled themselves for the attacks of the enemy, they will have equipped themselves for the fiercest of battles, and they will have disciplined themselves mentally wherein the distractions the enemy attempted were to no avail.

One who is uncertain as to what they believe, and why they believe it, one who jumps from denomination to denomination as though they were playing religious hot potato, does not have the loins of their mind girded up. They are not settled, they are not focused, and they are not prepared.

When I have done as instructed and I have girded up the loins of my mind, the enemy will never again catch me off balance or on the wrong footing. I will learn to anticipate his attacks, I will learn to anticipate his tactics, and through prayer, supplication, and perseverance the fiery arrows of the enemy will be quenched before they are able to do any damage.

The second thing we are instructed to do, is to be sober. In this context, being sober does not mean sober from alcohol – although we should be sober from alcohol as well – but rather be sober minded, or fully aware and alert. One who is sober is able to evaluate and assess things correctly. One who is sober is not easily swayed by phony arguments or half-truths, because he is alert and can deduce the truth from the lie.

Once again, it is incumbent upon us to be sober. It’s not up to you to make me sober, it’s no to me to make you sober, we are each, individually, called upon to gird up the loins of our minds, and be sober.

Yes, I know, this flies in the face of the do nothing Christianity, and to be perfectly honest, we’ve just scratched the surface of all that we are instructed to do by the Word of God. If you disagree, well, feel free to argue with the Bible.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.


Beth Marie said...

Faith without works is dead. Jesus told us to take up our cross and follow Him. He didn't do "nothing" and neither should we! Amen, brother!

Anonymous said...

Amen, Brother Mike, amen!

Mrs. Pugh

FionaB said...

Hope you don't mind, but I felt led to quote you in my latest chapter on my blog, albeit a brief chapter. I made sure that the words were attributed directly to you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mike!!
We have been going through some trials this summer, appreciate your prayers and timely blogs...still "the Lord is Greatly to be praised"!!!
mike and nancy

DREAM BIG said...

Brother mike,

You are talking to hard hard hearts. I feel for you and your task .

Jeremiah had it the same way. Keep obeying God. All you can do is preach as the Lord says. The way is very narrow. Romans 6 is clear especially verse 11. They won't be able to tell God they didn't know.

8Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 9Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. 10For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 11Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
12Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. 14For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
Yielding means turn away people! If sin has dominion over you, you are not under grace. God does require a choice. If you haven't turned to him in fear and trembling do you really think he over looks that in the end?

I pray that God keep you safe and comfort you and your family.