Our text sounds like the beginning of a race toward purposeful action. Peter had just described the price the prophets paid to “testify beforehand about the sufferings appointed for Christ” (1 Pet 1:11): “they were serving not themselves but you” and laying the foundation for the “gospel . . . sent from heaven” (1:12). Now it was the readers’ turn to come “stage front” and give the performance of a lifetime.
Peter sounds like a coach giving a final pep talk before launching his team onto the field. He gives five exhortations: (1) prepare your minds for action, (2) be self–controlled, (3) set your hope completely, (4) do not conform to . . . evil desires (1 Pet 1:14), and (5) be holy (1:15).
Technically, the first, second, and fourth are participles, which have imperatival force as they support the commands. Thus Peter is saying, “Set your hope with a prepared mind and self–control” and “be holy by not conforming to evil desires” (1:14–-15).
The first command—-“decide immediately to set your hope completely”—-refers to a decisive military action, but metaphorically, it means to mentally focus on eternal priorities, eliminating anything that would impede you from accomplishing God’s will.
Meanwhile, most of us have set our goals on a car, a home, a vacation, material goods, savings, or retirement.
We live for these goals, think about them every day, and cut any time drain or financial expenditure that would interfere with these “hopes” or goals. Peter’s command tells us to make our eternal inheritance our primary goal.
This goal requires mental preparedness. Obedience is a conscious act of the will. To be “fully sober” means to “be in control of your thought process,” avoiding irrational thinking, while staying “composed in mind and focused” by choosing the urgent priority of the “hope” of the “grace that will be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
This hope is to be “completely,” or “entirely, unreservedly,” the center of our lives. By His grace we will stand before Jesus at His revelation, having partnered with Him in life to make Him known throughout the world.
“There are times, Lord, when I want my way, my will, and my pleasures now. It is painful to have to wait, but nothing on earth can compare to what awaits Your children. We cannot imagine what You have prepared for us. Thank You, Lord.”