Abraham was a man after God who had a different family. With girded minds, they were not fashioned according to the world with sloppy thoughts. They knew they were heirs of something bigger. (Hebrews 11:9; 1 Peter 1:12-14)
Speaker(s): Thomas Schaller
7:00 PM on 2/9/2022
P. Schaller –
Good evening. Praise the Lord! Praise God! Turn in your Bibles, please, to 1 Peter 1. I want to take a minute and
recognize people that are here visiting for the first time. We have Salem. Jeru-salem. Salem is
here from France. Do you want to stand for a moment? From S. France. Awesome. Potential
student here. Anybody else here first time? Just raise your hand. We want to welcome you.
Yeah, okay. There’s a lady here. Good to have you. Come back she said? Anybody in a
category of “comebacks”? I don’t know what that means. You come back to God?! Good to see
you. Okay. Alright. Comebacks.
Let’s start. 1 Peter 1:14 we have this verse on girding up your mind. It’s a good text for our
message tonight. Turn to Exodus12 just to see that word “girding” is used at the Passover in Exodus
12:11. Maybe the folks could put that verse up on the screen. Here is how that word is used in
the Old Testament with the Jews eating the Passover. Many of you know what happened that
night when the blood was on the doorpost and the Jews ate the Passover lamb standing up.
How many of you eat standing up? You have no problem eating standing up? I can eat right
over the kitchen sink and there’s no cleanup necessary! I can go at it just like an animal! I can
eat standing. The French people. It’s properly done. Napkins. Sorry! I’m goofing around. We
have a message but hold on. Girding. The Jews girding. They had to eat the Passover girded.
What does it mean? They’re ready to go. They’re ready to leave Egypt. They’re ready to move
on. Maybe that’s one way of saying it.
They had those long tunics and so on, and to lift up the middle and maybe tuck it in and run.
That’s one idea. Girding is preparation and it’s intentional. And again, the idea is preparation,
moving on. There’s a change coming. Let’s go. Let’s be focused. Let’s read what it is saying, vs.
11. That’s another part of eating I like. Eat it in haste. Get it over with. Get it done. I ate. It’s
finished. It is the Lord’s Passover. You eat that lamb and you move on, and anything left over
they were to burn it. Nobody else had a right to eat it. An Egyptian stumbling into the house
afterwards, he has no right to eat it. It’s eaten by us. We eat the Passover lamb, Jesus Christ,
and we are girded. Our loins are girded and we are moving on.
Now, Peter uses this word in 1 Peter 1. Turn there with me, regarding our minds. The angels are
looking in in vs. 12. We are anointed. We have a ministry and the angels are looking in and
watching us. This is real. Heaven is watching, Hebrews 12 and here in 1 Peter 1:10-12. It’s real. The
angels desire to look in. I was wondering – how about this thought – how much knowledge is
there in heaven. What do they know? What do they talk about? What does God reveal to the
angels? How much do they know? What do you think? We don’t know but I want you to think
about something. The angels may know – they have seen history, human history. They know
who Christ is. They saw his birth, crucifixion, his resurrection.
They see people coming to heaven every day. They see. They talk. They have information, but there’s something they don’t know. What is it? What is it they don’t know? Jesus said not even the angels in heaven, right?
The time of his coming, his second coming. And what did he say? He said not even the angels
of heaven. That leaves me to think they know a lot. Angels are intelligent. Angels know a lot.
They know a lot more than you and I do, but they don’t know when Jesus is coming back. Only
my Father knows that, right? God knows that. Isn’t that cool? Seeing that the angels are
watching us and knowledeable and involved, then it behooves us to have our minds girded.
Look at vs. 13. So we have that word here in the Greek, ANAZONNYMI, to gird up. “The figure
is taken from the circumstances of the Israelites as they ate the Passover in readiness for their
The Christian is to have his mental powers alert in expectation of Christ’s coming.”
That’s an example. But it also has the meaning, has to do with us being governing. It’s actually a
middle voice. It’s like my mind is my choice and my mind affects me. I have my mind girded and
my mind being girded is affecting myself. It’s a way of thinking. I choose. I have my loins, the
loins of my mind. Loins meaning your hips. This is the most powerful part of your body. It’s this.
Your loins and your hips and so on, and this is to be girded.
Well, my life, your life is lived with our mind. The word mind is DIANOIA and it means actually
“understanding.” I have my understanding actually is my – this is my life that I am on purpose,
deliberately, intentionally choosing how I think, who I talk to, what I listen to. I actually am
controlling and affecting how I am thinking. And it takes some discipline and some effort and I
want to bring that out tonight in our message.
What does it do? Read the rest of the verse, vs. 13.
Here we have the attitude of the believer as grace is brought to us and then also at the coming
of Christ the grace that comes to us at the coming of Christ and this is what Peter is saying. You
have a lifetime that you’re living, so don’t live it just as an accident but live it intentionally with
how you relate to life with your mind and understanding.
I also like the idea of Peter thinking about this, because I think there were times when his mind
was not girded. I think with the Apostle Peter, he was sloppy or I wasn’t awake. I wasn’t
prepared. That was when he went fishing and couldn’t catch anything all night. The man on the
shore said cast it on the right side. This miracle happened two times, once at the beginning and
once at the end of Jesus’ ministry. And even at the end, Peter said to John, who is that? He
said, that’s the Lord. Peter missed it when the sheet came down with the food, the food that
Jews couldn’t eat and the Spirit said, “Rise, kill, and eat.” Peter said, “not so, Lord.” Not so. His
old life or his pattern of life governed him and also as people are, many times we are asleep and
we need to wake up and move on.
I think another case is when he denied the Lord three times. Maybe he was very discouraged
with himself and thinking I denied the Lord three times and maybe Peter had to get over it. Move
on. You are forgiven. Move on. Gird up the loins of your mind. Jesus isn’t there. He’s over here.
Jesus has dealt with that. That’s over. Move on. Isn’t that a good thought?
Gird up the loins of your mind in understanding the finished work. I think those wakeup
moments. You might think, oh, wow! I didn’t realize how much prayer means or oh, this man
was saved. It’s been a long time since I saw a man saved, but his life is changed. Oh, yeah, gird
up the loins of my mind and realize what that is, you know. That’s I think what we’re talking
Go to vs. 14. Now this word is this external fashioning. SYSCHEMATIZO. It signifies to fashion
oneself, to be fashioned. It is being outwardly conformed to the things of this age, Romans 12:2.
It’s easy to be going with the crowd. I will go with the crowd and we slide into going with the
crowd and the loins of my mind are not – I’m not prepared. I’m not ready to move on. I’m not, I’m
easily conforming to the world and the lust patterns of my flesh.
vs. 14. Before you were born again and you have these lust patterns in your soul, and so I am
adopting to the external form of my lust pattern that is in my soul and I just slide into a careless
conformity. I do what others do. I say what others say. I think as others say. And so, I want to
speak about Abraham tonight and speak about that subject. Okay. I think maybe we go right at
it right now.
Let’s go. Go to Hebrews. Let’s move on. Here we go. Hebrews 6. Just a couple. vs. 11-12. Not
slothful. Turn to your neighbor and say, do not be slothful. Congratulations you are here tonight.
Probably you are not slothful. You get a Boy Scout badge for that! You are not slothful.
Congratulations! You got out of the house. You got out of the house. Wow! Okay. vs. 12. Follow
somebody. Follow. Be a follower. Follow those like Abraham. vs. 12. You know, going to church
takes also sitting here and listening with concentration and having your loins of your mind
girded, ready, and you’re moving on in your faith and you’re a follower of Abraham. Look at vs.
13. I want to use Abraham tonight as an example. There’s just three points. So we’ll turn to
chapter 11 of Hebrews. I wonder if I have my Ipad here? Hebrews 11:9. Okay. vs. 8-9.
Here’s a very good thing about the loins of the mind girded. Would you do me a favor? I know you don’t need to do this, but I feel it might help us cause we have a few more minutes and the
message will be good. Could you turn to your neighbor and explain to them everything I’ve said
so far? Go ahead. You can do it. Everything I’ve said so far. Okay. How about it? Are you good?
No sloppy thinking. No sloppy Joes! Anyone remember? No sloppy Joes. You just cannot
because – I have four things – #1. Abraham went out but he didn’t know where he was going in
a way. He’d never been there before, vs. 8. He went out not knowing where he was going. It
was an adventure. I’ll put here “adventure.” Wasn’t that how you got saved? It was. It was an
adventure for me. I didn’t know what it meant. I didn’t know where it would take me. I didn’t know
how this worked. I needed the mind, right? I needed it in my heart. I needed to live by faith. And
by faith and patience follow. Abraham had these three things mentioned here in this text. vs. 9.
#2. He was in the land of promise with people that didn’t know what he was thinking. He was in
the land of promise that was strange to him. He lived in a tent all the time. Never did he live in a
city. He had a nephew who wanted to go to Sodom and Gomorrah and he did. He went but it
burnt down. But Abraham lived. He just was in a land something like us in this world. We are
strangers and foreigners in this land.
If you haven’t yet realized it, the Holy Spirit will be teaching that to you as you follow God and
you trust him but you live by faith. And the Holy Spirit is going to help you and understand that
you are here on a journey. You are passing through. This is not your home. We are coming
back with Christ and this will be our home. That’s true. But while we are here now, we are
people of faith and we’re passing, we’re living here with another mind. Our mind is doctrinal. Our
mind is from the Holy Spirit. Our mind is renewed. Our mind is refreshed. We have convictions
about things. We know that our time on earth is only limited. But while we are living here, we are
living here with promise. We have promise. We are only here for a short period of time and we
have a purpose here and there’s a plan here.
vs. 9. Let’s put here Isaac and Jacob. His family. I believe Isaac was 75 years old when Jacob
was 15 years old when Abraham was – how old was Abraham? Was it 175 when he died? I’m
sorry. I want just to make the point that these were family members. Abraham cared who Isaac
would marry. And they made a family. This family was different. They didn’t talk and think like
the other people in the country. They were different. They had fellowship. You could be sure
that Abraham would tell his son and his grandson. He would tell them that I came from another
place and I came here by faith and we are a family that lives by faith.
They could say, who is God? Have you ever seen God? They could have a talk. Abraham, what
are you believing in? He could say there was a time, there was a flood over the whole earth and
God judged the world. This is the God, the God that called Noah to build an ark, and our family
came from the survivors. Abraham could tell the story. They would have fellowship together as a
family. This is something like us in this time we are living where we have our spiritual family and
we sit together and eat together and talk together in faith. We have faith. We have words. 1
Peter 4 says if any man speaks, let him speak as of the oracles of God. We teach our children
Sunday school lessons. We teach doctrine. We bring people in from the neighborhood and
introduce them to our world of faith where our loins are girded and we’re ready. We’re really
believing in the Second Coming of Christ.
Can you imagine going to a church and they don’t believe in the Second Coming of Christ. Are
their minds fashioned according to the – just sliding into the worldly way of thinking
humanistically about life. Or that church is not that important. Church is not that important.
Imagine. The loins are girded and the mind is I’m alert. I’m awake. I am ready. We are leaving
Egypt. We are moving on. This is important. We are engaged. We are believing this. We are
missionaries in our hearts. Messengers of Christ. We are believers. We are ministers of the
So what did Isaac, and Jacob and Abraham and their wives and the children that came and
Jacob had twelve sons as you know. The family and the huge number of people coming out of Egypt and the promise being fulfilled. It’s like wow! That’s amazing. It’s really happening. There
really is a nation called Israel, the seed of Abraham. How we can see that. When we look at it,
we also are similar. There is a parallel between those people and us. We are followers of
Abraham who faith and patience inherited the promises. We are not fools to believe in what we
are believing in. No, we are embracing it and it’s in our hearts. It’s in our minds. We see it in our
work and our attitude about life. Isn’t it fun?
You know what? It’s fun to get in a car on a mission with sisters and brothers. Just sit around a
table with five brothers and sisters who have the same mind and start talking and loving each
other and making jokes and being sarcastic and having fun teasing each other talking about
God and turning in the Bible and having a proverb and a psalm, living in faith and giving a
testimony cause we are part of something that is a lot bigger than this old world that is
struggling and having a hard time in this life.
But we’re not. We’re not conformed to them. We are different from them. We have a different
fragrance. Remember when the Jews left Egypt it says not even a dog barked when they left
Egypt. Donny Fisher and I, one summer we were in Hungary and the dogs were barking a lot in
the neighborhood. We were joking about it. I never heard so many barking dogs as when I lived
in Hungary. How many know what I’m talking about? You lived there? Barking dogs. It was a
common thing in the background. I would say if I walked down the street, they would not even
bark. They will not bark.
The Jews left Egypt and there wasn’t even any resistance. There wasn’t even a barking dog.
And we are living in this world and one day we are going to leave. We’re going in the Rapture.
We’re leaving the earth. Imagine. Our mind is understanding the value and the truth that we
have been embracing all these years. And in our hearts we are sharing it with our family and in
fellowship with the Body. We get together and have a good little old time.
Do you know what happened one time? We lived in the woods in Finland. This is a true story.
About a mile in the woods, and there was a hotel or motel, one level. It was for athletic training.
We rented it for I don’t know how long, a year and a half. I don’t remember. There was a lake. It
was for cross country skiing training. People could live there. There were rooms. There was a
kitchen and sauna area. We bought a bus from the city of Helsinki so we could transport our
Bible college students, because we moved in with 15 people but ended up with 70 people living
in that place. You walk down a long road a mile back to – I think it was a mile – something like
that. I got it in my mind that there is somebody in Finland saying, oh, no. It wasn’t a mile! That is
not correct. It was not a mile! I never measured it.
Anyway, funny stories. We had a Bible school there. We made food in the kitchen. One time, the food was not good and we put it in thermoses and everybody went to work on that day and that night everybody was sick. The whole group!
We bought this bus and there’s many funny stories about that.
Why did I tell that? Here’s why. There were some houses along the road and the people called
the police. They said to the police, there’s something strange going on. They’re taking drugs or
they’re drinking. There’s something not right about these people. They are too happy! They’re
something strange. These people are laughing when they are walking along the road. The
police came and they interviewed me and P. Yurma I think. They asked us questions and they
looked around and stuff. It wasn’t true.
What was true was I mean really it was Abraham, Isaac,
and Jacob having fellowship and just knowing that these things are true. Nobody on the outside
maybe believes us but it’s true. Christ is risen. Our sins are forgiven. Our name is in the Book of
Life. We are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. We have a divine mission. We have a purpose, and
there’s nothing that can stop us.
Maybe some of you know these stories. I don’t talk a lot about it. When Mao Zedong in China in
1989 and his wife took over with a Gang of Four and we were in Finland. We didn’t know
anything, but we started saying we can go to China and preach the Gospel. The summer of –
what did I call it? ’89? Did I say the wrong year? It was ’79, 1979 he died. 1980 sixteen of us,
eleven Finns, we flew to China and preached the Gospel on the streets. You know what?
The country had been closed for a generation. The Chinese children when they saw us like the
Finns. They saw Western people. They saw white people with long noses and everything and
blue eyes. The children would start crying in the streets and run behind their parents. It was like
huge, a lot of fun actually.
You know, what I want to say is that we are people that with faith and patience. It takes time.
But we are followers of Abraham who did not receive the fulfillment of the promises but he lived
in faith. That’s how we have to be prepared in our mind, and not have the sloppy thinking of just
conforming to the world. Don’t live like the world. Don’t conform to the world. Don’t do what the
world is saying. Don’t talk like the world. Don’t read the things the world is saying. Don’t listen to
the crazy things. You got to figure that out on your own, but I’m trying to say something here.
I am so happy and satisfied with how we live. I am happy and satisfied with how we think. I’m
happy and satisfied with our convictions. I don’t need any alcohol. They’ve said to us through
the years, you don’t drink do you? No, we don’t need it. I save a lot of money. Why don’t you
drink? I save a lot of money. I got more money then you got. Why don’t you do this or that? I
don’t do that. I don’t care about it. Abraham Lincoln never drank, so I’m not drinking. Robert E.
Lee didn’t smoke or drink and neither did Stonewall Jackson, and I’m a fan of that whole period
The 19th century when you can say no, when you can get in a fight. I like the whole idea
of having something going on in our hearts. It’s a crazy world. Why would I want to be part of
Let’s finish up. The last one here is heirs with him of the same promise. This is #4. Looking for a
city. Heirs. Heirs of promise. He had a promise, vs. 10. How many of you like to live alone? Do
you like to live alone? Maybe you’re not going to raise your hand because you think it’s a trick
question. Alright. There was a time in my life when I wanted to be alone. I thought about living
alone and I did it for a little while and then I realized it’s not that great. I think I need people. And
also what kind of people? What kind of people can I be with? Then also, how many of them? To
think of a city, that we are actually made for a city.
That’s a good thing. A lot of people that are exceedingly awesome and great and precious people. People that have gone on before us. People that have run the race. People that have content in their life and in their history. People
that have been redeemed by the blood. People that have walked with Jesus Christ in this
lifetime. People that were martyred for their faith. People that had courage. People that loved
God. People that make up the city of God. We are going to be with them in that city.
P. Dan Lightsey is there. Marian Kahlenback. P. Lou. I’m happy for them. I’m so glad that Dan
Cergione didn’t make it there! And John Nielson! No, no, no! Back off! You got to be here. God’s
not done with you, right? Behind it is this amazing sense we are going to see him, Jesus, one
P. Matti and I were on the phone. He lives in Oman as you know. He said, what do you think it’s
going to be like to see Jesus? I go, I don’t know. I have a hard time grasping it, but I have a
better sense of the spirit of Jesus. I know the spirit of Jesus. I don’t know what he will look like
but I know his spirit. I know his spirit. I know how kind he is. I know how strong, how wise, how
loving, how his presence. We know that because we live in this world in his presence, and to
think that one day we will be in a city that is actually saturated with that presence, that
meekness. Everybody walking around and I wonder how that is.
You know, every city is built by men, isn’t it? Men build cities. How many men built the City of
Baltimore? How many hundred or thousands of people build our civilization if not millions of
them? They have built our civilization, but this is a city built by God and the foundation of the city
is the apostles and actually Christ in them. This city is a city of people. Maybe we’ll walk along
and there will be this presence and we’ll be with the two or three and there we will be in the
presence of Christ. There it is. We will look back at this time and just say by faith and patience
we followed, we inherited the promises. By God’s grace, it was true that I had my mind girded. I
had a preparation. I was ready to move on.
Peter, you were forgiven of denying the Lord. Move on. Gird up your mind with doctrine and
truth and move on. Peter, he is risen. Run and see. Go to the tomb. It is empty. Run and see.
Peter ran there and what is going on? What is going on? That affects your mind. Your mind is
girded and you realize and this is how we are living.
Let’s finish by repeating it. We have vs. 8. We don’t know where we are going exactly but it does
become clear. We live by faith in a land of promise. We’re in a strange country. We dwell in
fellowship in small groups and in church meeting halls and in our families. We’re dwelling in
tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob. They are heirs of the same promise. We have fellowship.
Then we look for a city, and when it’s time to pass on, it’s okay cause we’ve been living with this
in our hearts and our minds all our lives.
Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace