Like Christians in many parts of the world today, the original audience of Peter’s first epistle had to face discrimination simply for being Christians. This audience was in sore need of encouragement to remember their hope and their need to stand firm in it.
This hope is our hope of salvation in Christ, which comes to us only through the election of the Father, the sacrifice of the Son, and the sanctification of the Spirit (1 Peter 1:2). The resurrection of Christ guarantees this hope, which includes an imperishable inheritance of eternal life and its attendant blessings guarded by God almighty Himself (vv. 4–5). The prophets predicted this salvation and looked forward to the greater day in which we now live (vv. 10–12).
Having established the greatness of this hope, Peter begins to tell us how we must live in light of it. He has already told us that we must rejoice in our hope even while we suffer, because by our sufferings our faith in the hope of salvation is purified (vv. 6–7). Today we read that we must prepare our minds for action, setting our hope fully on the grace that will come at the revelation of Jesus (v. 13).
We should note two things about this verse. First, though the preceding verses make it clear that the hope of salvation is already ours, there is still more grace to come. At the “revelation,” or return, of Jesus, we will experience redemption in the fullest sense. Even though Christ has already purchased our redemption once and for all, its full application will be completed only in our glorification.
Second, our present possession of this hope necessitates that we act in certain ways as we wait to be glorified. We have been saved from the penalty of sin, and so we must take steps to make sure that we are free from anything that would not make us soberly and diligently wait for the grace that is yet to come (v. 13). This we can do by identifying those things in our lives that we have made into idols, whether they be material goods, earthly success, relationships, or anything else in which we have placed our hope for security. Once identified, we must work to remove them by repenting and by seeking accountability from the people of God.
Until we are glorified, we must daily seek to keep our minds focused on the hope of Christ’s salvation. The presence of sin makes it all too easy for us to think that we can hope partly in Christ and partly in something else. We must turn from anything that prevents us from soberly pursuing Christ, including physical addictions and other less tangible forms of idolatry. Find some accountability to help you avoid those things that prevent you from following Jesus fully.