Aliens And Strangers Series
Contributed by Guy Caley on Dec 15, 2001 (message contributor)
Summary: Peter explains how we should live as aliens and strangers in this world
Aliens and Strangers
Text: 1 Peter 2:11-25
As a member of the US Army serving in Germany, I’m an alien and a transient here, I take my identity and my mission from another place
Proposition: As citizens of heaven we are aliens and transients here on earth we also take our identity and our mission from another place.
Interrogative: As aliens and Strangers, how should we live our lives on earth?
Transition: According to our Scripture today we should have three specific goals for our lives. The first is that our lives as aliens and strangers should...
1. Cause Curiosity
v. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
This verse is of course a paraphase of something Jesus said in the Sermon on the mount, "Let your light so shine before Men that they will see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven." What is He saying? That our lives should cause even those who oppose us to be curious.
Trust me on this, the people who seem the most disgusted with Christians, who go out of their way to ridicule or offend you, by using bad langauge or telling off color jokes or talking about their bad experiences with Christians in the past, they are watching you more closely than anyone else.
Is there anyone here who has not heard someone say that the reason they don’t go to church or that they are not Christians is that they’ve known so many hypocrits? Have you ever wondered how to respond to that? Let me tell you how. Not with your words but with your life. It is only as individual Christians take seriously their role in preserving the repution of the Church of Jesus Christ, that we can turn around the impression that we are a bunch of Hypocrits. We should live our lives to cause curiosity about what makes us live that way
ILLUSTRATION: An ancient legend is told about a monk who found a precious stone, a precious jewel, in fact, and then quietly kept it in his bag. A short time later, however, he met a traveler, who said he was hungry and asked the monk if he would share some of the provisions. When the monk opened his bag, the traveler saw the precious stone and, on an impulse, asked the monk if he could have it. Amazingly, without much thought, the monk gave the traveler the stone.
The traveler departed quickly, overjoyed with his new possession. However, a few days later, he came searching for the monk again. (The monk was, of course, was both curious to see the traveler again, wondering what might have happened to the precious jewel, and frowning at what else the traveler would want.) Surprisingly, the traveler returned the stone to the monk and asked for something else. The monk gasped and shook his head in disbelief. What else would he have that the traveler would be interested to have? Finally the traveler said, "Please give me that which enabled to you to give me this precious stone!"
2. Counter Criticism
v. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men.
In Peter’s time such ignorant talk and accusations included charges of cannibalism, and incest as a part of the church’s worship. Peter understood that no matter what Christians did, there would be malicious slander against them. His Spirit inspired instruction to them is that they live such exemplary lives that their accusers and not the Christians would be ashamed.
Think of Mother Theresa or Billy Graham, what would a person who tried to discredit them look like?
Just like in Peter’s day there are people who will say bad things about you because you’re a Christian. For one thing television sends out a steady stream of subtle and blatant messages discrediting Christianity and attempting to make Christians look foolish. God’s will today, as then, is that we by our lives would discredit that criticism
How do we do that? There are three specific things mentioned in the text the firstis in...
verse 13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men.
Submit yourselves to earthly authorities, political authorities, police, bosses, teachers, parents--not for your sake, not for the authorities’ sake, but for the Lord’s sake. Why? To Counter criticism that Christians are bad citizens. The only exception is when you are asked by those authorities to do something contrary to God’s instructions (e.g. The disciples in the book of Acts). But otherwise we are to be submissive to authority, in taxes, dress codes, curfews, speed limits, shall I go on? If God has not given specific instructions IN SCRIPTURE otherwise, we are to obey. Why? So that when someone comes along to say "those Christians are troublemakers" People will say, "What, they’re the most solid citizens we’ve got.